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Cornell AgriTech

Big, blue Everest Seedless is Cornell’s newest grape

Bruce Reisch with Everest Seedless grape vines
Everest Seedless, the newest offering from Cornell’s grape breeders, is a big, bold fruit that comes with a towering history. Above, Bruce Reisch ’76, professor of horticulture, examines clusters of Everest Seedless in a research vineyard at Cornell AgriTech. Photo by Erin Flynn/Provided

CALS News [2018-09-13]:

The newest offering from Cornell’s grape breeders is a fruit that’s big, bold and comes with a towering history.

Those factors led the grape’s breeders to name the new variety Everest Seedless, a nod to the celebrated Nepalese mountain, said Bruce Reisch ’76, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and grape breeder with Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York.

“We were looking to develop very flavorful grapes with large berries and large clusters, and we’ve achieved that with Everest Seedless,” Reisch said.

The new variety is a cold-tolerant, blue-colored Concord-type, with berries that weigh up to 7 grams – roughly twice the size of the traditional Concord. It is also the first truly seedless Concord-type grape ever released. It’s intended as a table grape – meant primarily for eating fresh, rather than using for jams, juice or wine, as most American Concords are used.

Read the whole article.

New high-yield strawberry, raspberry varieties released

Cornell’s berry breeding program is releasing two new varieties, which will be available for planting in spring 2019: a strawberry, Dickens, and a raspberry, Crimson Treasure.

Cornell’s berry breeding program is releasing two new varieties, which will be available for planting in spring 2019: a strawberry, Dickens, and a raspberry, Crimson Treasure.

CALS News [2018-09-05]:

Cornell’s berry breeding program is releasing two new varieties, which will be available for planting in spring 2019: a strawberry, Dickens, and a raspberry, Crimson Treasure. Both varieties produce large fruits with vibrant colors that maintain peak flavor for longer than most heritage varieties.

The new berries are the handiwork of berry breeder Courtney Weber, associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences based at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, New York.

Dickens is a traditional, June-bearing strawberry with high yields and bright red fruit that continues bearing late into the season. The berries are firm, so they hold well on the plant and in the container, Weber said, but not so firm that they have no flavor. Strawberries are the third-leading fruit crop in New York state, but most strawberries sold in supermarkets are from California.

“With New York-grown berries, because we don’t have to ship so far, we can handle a softer fruit. And people notice the softer, sweeter, juicier fruit,” Weber said. “Customers can get supermarket strawberries any day of the week; the reason people make the effort to come to the farm stand or farmers market and buy the local product is because it tastes so much better. Maintaining that flavor is paramount to what we do in our breeding program.”

Read the whole article.

Crimson Treasure produces large fruit with vibrant colors and maintains peak flavor and texture for longer.

Crimson Treasure produces large fruit with vibrant colors and maintains peak flavor and texture for longer.

‘Cornell AgriTech’ reflects influence in food, ag innovation

Cornell Chronicle, CALS News [2018-08-01]

larry smart with industrial hemp in greenhouse

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced Aug. 1 the renaming of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) to Cornell AgriTech.

Agriculture and food are multibillion-dollar industries in New York, and the name change underscores the value Cornell AgriTech brings to improving the health of the people, environment and economy of the state and beyond. Based in Geneva, New York, Cornell AgriTech is home to more than 300 faculty, scientists, staff and graduate students at the leading edge of food science, entomology and plant sciences research.

“Cornell AgriTech is an essential part of Cornell CALS and supports our mission of discovery that grows the agricultural economy in New York and makes food more nutritious, safer and better tasting for everyone,” said Kathryn J. Boor ’80, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS. “Cornell AgriTech is a global leader in food and agriculture research and innovation, as our scientists generate the breakthroughs and develop the technologies that improve the crops in our fields and the food on our plates.”

Read the whole article.

Francescatto named a top young researcher

CALS News [2018-06-26]:

Francescatto in orchard

Poliana Francescatto has been named one of the nation’s top young researchers in the fruit and vegetable industries by Fruit Growers News.

The Cornell research associate was recognized as a next generation leader in the “40 under 40 category. She was lauded for her studies on the use of plant growth regulators to improve orchard management of temperate tree fruit crops for the benefit of New York state tree fruit growers.

Along with her research trials in orchards at Cornell, she works directly with growers in New York on practical applications they can use to modernize fruit production practices.

She joined the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher with Terence Robinson, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, her program seeks new, efficient and profitable strategies to improve and standardize fruit orchard practices to deliver more uniform, high-quality fruit, according to Francescatto.

As an applied fruit physiologist, she focuses on how plant growth regulators and crop load management can be used in the orchard. Her program focuses on pome fruits like apples and pear, and stone fruits, like cherries and peaches. Her research priority areas have focused on fruit thinning, improved fruit finish and flower bud formation.

“I grew up in an apple growing family in Brazil, and my parents continue to be growers today,” said Francescatto. “Because of that, I understand the impact research has on bettering people’s livelihoods and how it improves fruits delivered to consumers. This award means more than words can describe.”

Seminar video: Active Canopy Cooling Strategies to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Heatwaves on Grapevines

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section and Dreer Award seminar, Active Canopy Cooling Strategies to Mitigate the Negative Effects of Heatwaves on Grapevines with Raquel Kallas, M.P.S. Horticulture ’16 and 2016 Dreer Award winner, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Seminar video: Vegetable Crop Conservation in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System

If you missed Monday’s Horticulture Section seminar Vegetable Crop Conservation in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System with Joanne Labate, USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, it is available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

Brown’s apple breeding efforts featured in Atlas Obscura

Susan Brown

Apple breeder Susan Brown, professor in the Horticulture Section, explains all that’s involved in selecting and commercializing new apple varieties in an October 20 article Every Apple You Eat Took Years and Years to Make in Atlas Obscura.

“As the head of the apple-breeding program at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, one of the largest apple-breeding programs in the world, Brown is searching for fruit that no one has ever seen or tasted before—beautiful apples that can withstand the dangers of the field, that grow uniform and large, that store well, that can be shipped easily to grocery stores, that have deep and satisfying flavors, and that are, above all, crisp and juicy, the two qualities consumers most desire. By harnessing the criss-cross power of genetic variation, she can create new apples, better than any already for sale.”

It took 11 years from cross to commercialization for Snapdragon, one of her latest releases, “one of fastest tracks in apple-breeding history.”

“’Some perennial breeders never get to this stage,’ says Brown. ‘You can retire before you know your variety is a success.’”

Read the whole article.

 

SAGES Cookbook to support Geneva Campus Bike Share

Reposted from the SIPS blog, Discovery that Connects:

Craving some Black Magic Cake, Cherry Stuffed Tenderloin, or Red Lentil Coconut Curry?  These are just some of the thirty nine recipes in the 2017 cookbook assembled by the Student Association of the Geneva Experiment Station (SAGES) to benefit the Geneva Bike Share Program.

Recipes were contributed by faculty, staff, and students on the Geneva campus. SAGES President Adrienne Gorny draws particular attention to those derived from annual Chili Cook-offs, Cookie Bake-Offs, and Underappreciated Vegetable Cook-offs; this last being an event where Geneva campus employees are challenged to produce a dish incorporating a pre-determined underappreciated vegetable. Hannah Swegarden recommends her recipe for Tomato Basil Soup, perfect for this time of year when gardens are bursting with these two ingredients.

Also featured are recipes from a variety of cultural traditions such as George Abawi’s Baklava, several Scandinavian desserts, and Pavlova, described by Sarah Pethybridge as “a famous Australian and New Zealand dessert!”

Available for $14 or two for $25, proceeds from the cookbook sales will be used to support the Bike Share Program at the Geneva campus.  The SAGES Bike Share Program provides bicycles for rent to students and other members of the Geneva station community. Begun in 2014 with a few donated bicycles, the program has grown in the years since. Proceeds from cookbook sales will be used to expand the Bike Share Program by funding repairs of old bikes and purchasing of new ones.  Donations can also be made directly to the program.

Cookbooks are available in the SIPS main office at 135 Plant Science in Ithaca or in Hannah Swegarden’s mailbox in Hedrick Hall, Geneva.  Buy one soon and kick back with a piece of Larry Smart’s PhD Party Pie.  Filled with chocolate, pecans, Kahlua, and Jack Daniels, it’s the cure for whatever ails you!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cornell-led project to improve grapes gets big boost

Bruce Reisch

Bruce Reisch

Cornell Chronicle [2017-08-31]

Breeding the next great grape is getting a boost thanks to new funding for a Cornell-led project that uses genomic technology to create varieties that are more flavorful and sustainable.

The project, VitisGen2, is a collaboration of 25 scientists from 11 institutions who are working in multidisciplinary teams to accelerate development of the next generation of grapes. Launched in 2011, the project was recently renewed with a $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Specialty Crop Research Initiative.

The work has the potential to save millions of dollars annually for the U.S. grape industry – in excess of $100 million in California alone, according to Bruce Reisch, professor of grapevine breeding and genetics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), who co-leads the project with Lance Cadle-Davidson, plant pathologist with the USDA-ARS Grape Genetics Research Unit, both located at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.

VitisGen2’s multipronged model addresses the grape production continuum. An economics team examines the benefits of improving grape varieties. Geneticists identify molecular markers for important traits in grapes, from resistance to diseases like powdery mildew to boosting low-temperature tolerance and fruit quality. Grape-breeding scientists develop new grape varieties that incorporate these traits, and teams of outreach specialists help growers and consumers understand the advantages of newly introduced grape varieties.

The result is a new generation of high-quality grapes that can be grown at lower cost and adapt easily to a range of geographic regions and climates, all with less environmental impact.

“We all stand to benefit in areas ranging from the environment to economic sustainability to improving the profit and quality possibilities for the industry,” Reisch said.

Read the whole article.

 

Students report on research progress at Graduate Field Review

Ph.D. candidate Grant Thompson explains his research on soil bacterial communities in residential lawns during a poster session at the Fall 2017 Horticulture Graduate Field Review.

Ph.D. candidate Grant Thompson explains his research on soil bacterial communities in residential lawns during a poster session at the Fall 2017 Horticulture Graduate Field Review.

The Graduate Field of Horticulture gathered in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), Geneva, N.Y. for the Fall 2017 Graduate Field Review. A dozen graduate students gave 2-minute “poster pitches” ahead of poster sessions where they detailed their research progress to faculty, staff and fellow students.

Topics ranged from root exudates and reviving nut trees to post-harvest fruit- and flower-quality and Reisling grape clone trials. Two students gave longer talks on their research into grape cold hardiness and apple acidity genetics.

The Horticulture Graduate Field Review is held twice a year just ahead of the start of Spring and Fall Semester classes.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 17, 2017, Jordan Hall, Geneva.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 17, 2017, Jordan Hall, Geneva.

 

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