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Kao-Kniffin kicks of Horticulture seminar series Monday 8/29

Kao-Kniffin

Kao-Kniffin

Jenny Kao-Kniffin, assistant professor in the Horticulture Section, kicks off the Fall 2016 Horticulture Section Seminar Series on Monday, August 29, 2016 at 12:20 p.m. in 404 Plant Science Building.

She will speak on Modifying plant-biotic interactions in rhizospheres for novel weed management approaches.

This and other Horticulture Section seminars are also available via videoconference to A134 Barton in Geneva. View the full fall line-up for the seminar series.

Most seminars are also recorded and available online on the Horticulture Section seminar YouTube playlist.

 

 

Petrovic awarded Good Medal by NYSNLA

Petrovic

Petrovic

Horticulture professor emeritus Marty Petrovic was awarded the 2016 George L. Good Gold Medal of Horticulture by the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association (NYSNLA) at the New York State Fair August 25.

The award is NYSNLA’s highest honor, recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to horticulture in the state of New York.

Petrovic, a turf specialist who retired in 2015, is best known for his groundbreaking work on the fate and impacts of pesticides and fertilizers applied to lawns and other turf areas. The Gold Medal Award was renamed to honor George Good after his death in 2008. Good spent his entire career at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and was an active, engaged member of NYSNLA and received the Gold Medal of Horticulture himself in 1997.

Congratulations Marty!

30+ attend Cornell Kale Day

Griffiths introduces Kale Day participants to his breeding research trials.

Griffiths introduces Kale Day participants to his breeding research trials.

More than 30 seed growers, researchers, food industry representatives, consumers and others attended the first Cornell Kale Day at the Homer C. Thompson Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y. August 23.

Phillip Griffiths, associate professor in the Horticulture Section, welcomed the group  by pointing out the rapid growth in kale’s popularity, but also cautioning that it takes time to develop new varieties with superior agronomic traits and consumer appeal.

Griffiths’ efforts to breed new leafy brassicas began in 2008 with a focus on African kale (sukuma wiki). This effort expanded with support from the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, incorporating diverse genetic material from collections maintaining biodiversity.

Participants spent most of the afternoon touring Griffiths’ breeding research, including plots featuring currently available varieties and breeding lines in various stages of refinement. To get feedback from the group, participants were asked to flag their favorite varieties. The feedback will help guide decisions for what hybrids will be used in on-farm trials next summer funded by  the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI), says horticulture graduate student Hannah Swegarden, who works with Griffiths.

One of the hybrids in development .

One of the hybrids in development . (Photo: Matt Hayes)

More field day reports:

In the world of weeds, art meets science

Reposted from the Cornell Chronicle’s Essentials Blog [2014-08-24]:

Chan at work in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory

Chan at work in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory

In the brutal, mind-bending world of agronomic combat that is a regional weed Olympiad, Plant Sciences major Patricia Chan ’17 became a legend.

Contestants solve real-life farmers’ problems, compete in weed and herbicide identification, and test their skills calibrating sprayers. Winners often get scooped up as prized employees of seed and agricultural companies.

Among the 55 undergraduate and graduate students participating in mid-July at the Northeastern Collegiate Weed Science Society Contest at Blacksburg, Virginia, Chan was the only student to correctly identify the bonus-question weed: Lobelia inflata, or Indian tobacco.

“What helped was that I was familiar with the genus beforehand and could recognize it from the flower structure,” said Chan. “I did take botanical illustration this spring [taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly], which probably does help with learning to examine the details of a plant. And I had taken the plant systematics and taxonomy course [taught by Jerrold Davis, professor of plant biology].”

Chan said Davis’ taxonomy course involved a lot of hands-on practice with plant identification at the family level, as she worked in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, crop gardens, the university’s weed garden and in the horticulture club’s greenhouse to become familiar with a lot of plants.

You can see an example of Chan’s botanical illustration here.

Cornell's 20016 Weeds Team.

Cornell’s 20016 Weeds Team. (Chan far right)

 

Horticulture Graduate Field Review

Faculty, graduate students and staff associated with the Graduate Field of Horticulture held their biannual Field of Horticulture Graduate Student Reviews and Field Meeting August 19 in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), Geneva, N.Y.

Seventeen students and three faculty gave 2-minute/2-slide flash presentations about their research progress, in addition to two longer talks. During breaks, students presented posters providing more details about their work.

Horticulture chair Steve Reiners used the occasion to present NYSAES director Susan Brown with the Wilder Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) recognizing the contributions of her apple breeding work to advancements in pomology.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 19, 2016.

Graduate Field of Horticulture, August 19, 2016.

An engaging poster session.

An engaging poster session.

Susan Brown (right) shows her Wilder Award medal to Hannah Swegarden, president of the Society of Horticulture for Graduate Students (SoHo).

Susan Brown (right) shows her Wilder Award medal to Hannah Swegarden, president of the Society of Horticulture for Graduate Students (SoHo).

50+ attend reduced tillage field day

More than 50 growers, educators and others attended the Reduced Tillage in Organic Vegetables Field Day at Cornell’s Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y. August 17.

The hay wagon tour include stops on the NOFA-NY certified organic portion of the Thompson Farm to view research on reduced tillage practices on permanent beds, a strip tillage demonstration, and talks on pests, organic soil amendments and soil health.

The farm is managed by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. The event was co-sponsored by NOFA-NY.

Research technician Ryan Maher explains his trial evaluating reduced tillage practices on permanent beds.

Research technician Ryan Maher explains his trial evaluating reduced tillage practices on permanent beds.

Christy Hoepting, Extension vegetable specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses organic management of Swede midge, a growing pest problem in brassica crops.

Christy Hoepting, Extension vegetable specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses organic management of Swede midge, a growing pest problem in brassica crops.

Anusuya Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, explains features of strip tillage equipment used to limit soil disturbance to the area around the row and break up hardpans that limit rooting.

Anusuya Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, explains features of strip tillage equipment used to limit soil disturbance to the area around the row and break up hardpans that limit rooting.

Attendees await strip tillage demo.

Attendees await strip tillage demo.

 

USDA apple, grape and tart cherry collection tour Sept. 17

apple and grape cultivarsFrom C. Thomas Chao, horticulturist and curator for the national clonal germplasm collections of apples, cold-hardy grapes, and tart cherries of the Plant Genetic Resources Unit, USDA-ARS at Geneva, NY.:

Mark your calendar…

On September 17,  the Clonal Collection of Plant Genetic Resources Unit, USDA-ARS, Geneva, NY will host its annual open house from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the McCarthy Farm, 2865 County Road 6 (Preemption Road), Geneva, NY, 14456 (across from St. Mary’s Cemetery).

There will be a two hour walking tour on uneven ground through the orchard and vineyard to view the collection — about 10 minutes about the overall collection, 10 minutes about the tart cherry collection, 70 minutes about the apple collection, and 30 minutes about the grape collection.

f there is any question, please contact me at c.thomas.chao@ars.usda.gov or at 315-787-2454.

We will see you rain or shine on 9/17/2016.

Registration open for small farm courses online

computer-in-the-fieldFrom Steve Gabriel,  Extension Specialist, Cornell Small Farms Program, sfg53@cornell.edu:

The Cornell Small Farms Program announces open registration for its 2016-2017 season of Small Farm Online Courses building the technical and business skills of farmers. Expert farmers and extension educators guide students through the latest research-based information to help improve efficiency and increase profit on small farms.

Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection.

Most courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren’t able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing.

Are there courses for me? From aspiring to experienced farmers, there is a course for nearly everyone. If you’re just getting started exploring farming as a career, BF 101: Starting at Square One and BF 102: Markets and Profits, were designed with you in mind. For those with at least a few years of farm management experience, check out BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers and BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning to take your skills to the next level. There’s a handy chart on our course homepage to direct you to the right courses for your experience level. There are more than 20 in all.

Each course is $250, which entitles two people from a farm to attend. Discounts for early sign up and multiple course sign ups are available.

Qualify for a 0% interest loan! Participants who complete all requirements of one or more online courses are eligible to be endorsed for a 0% interest loan of up to $10,000 through Kiva Zip.

Check out the listings below for more information on a particular course and the instructors. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about registration, payment, and computer requirements.

Register now. The first courses start September 26.

Questions? Contact Erica Frenay, ejf5@cornell.edu or Steve Gabriel, sfg53@cornell.edu or call 607 255 2142.

Join Dilmun Hill Student Farm’s Fall CSA

click for flyerFrom the Dilmun Hill Student Farm farm managers: dilmunmanagers@gmail.com:

We are excited to announce our CSA share during the fall semester! Following a successful 12-week summer share, we will have a six-week long fall CSA running from September 8 through October 13. Members will pick up their share on campus at the Farmer’s Market at Cornell on Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Shares will consist of 6 to 8 vegetables per week. We encourage larger families to purchase two shares or supplement the share with vegetables from the Cornell farmer’s market. Due to the nature of fall crops, a lot of the produce will keep and store well, so don’t be worried about needing to finish your share in a week. We hope our onions and winter squash will be able to nourish you into the winter. Additionally, CSA members will receive 20% off Dilmun purchases at the farmer’s market.

Payment for our CSA is a sliding scale. We hope that people who can will pay more for their share so that we are able to make the share more affordable to others. With that in mind, the CSA is valued at $120 for the six weeks, but people can pay anywhere between $100 and $140. As CSAs will be delivered in a reusable wax box, there is also a $5 box deposit that will be returned at the end of the CSA if you return your boxes week to week.

Work for a share will also be offered this fall. Dilmun benefits greatly from the hard work of our volunteers, and help from volunteers will be especially important once classes start back up. For 3 hours of volunteering a week, you will receive a CSA share. Volunteers need to commit to volunteering at one of our weekly work parties. The Sunday work party from 1 to 4 p.m. will in general focus on tasks such as weeding and farm up keep. Our Tuesday work party from 4 to 7 p.m. will focus on harvesting for Thursdays farmer’s market. Everyone’s schedules are busy, so volunteers must be able to come to the same work parties each week.

We are excited to be able to provide yummy vegetables into the fall for the Cornell community and hope you are interested in participating. Email us for an application if you want to join or have any questions!

 

SIPS staff visit Bluegrass Lane

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Research technician Kendra Hutchins explains her mixed container trial featuring combinations of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Administrative staff in CALS School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) took a quick field trip August 11 to learn more about the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility located adjacent to campus near the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.

SIPS floriculture research technician Kendra Hutchins explained the trials she manages, including evaluations of the latest annual flower varieties coming onto the market, pollinator-friendly plants, and mixed container plantings that include vegetables, herbs and flowers in a single pot. They also perused perennial flower plantings and rose test plots.

“The trials there are beautiful,” says Tara Reed, SIPS event coordinator. “But it was also great to see how the research we support connects with the plants we see in the garden center every spring.”

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