Monthly Archives: August 2016

2016 Drought Survey – NY & Northeast

Got drought issues on your farm? Help us collect regional information on the 2016 drought so we can help you be better prepared in the future. Fill out the 2016 Drought Survey.

This summer we have experienced a period of lower than average rainfall combined with higher than average temperatures that has led to a drought of moderate to unprecedented severity in New York and much of the Northeast. Learn more about monthly precipitation and this year’s drought on the Northeast Regional Climate Center, on You’re NEWA, and on Cornell Climate Change. “There is no unique climate change signature to this drought.  It is largely an unlucky sequence of events…

A 2016 drought survey is being conducted and we need your input. The survey is online, has 15 questions and should take only 5-15 minutes to complete. If your crops and irrigation water have been affected by this year’s drought, please help us help you by filling out the survey. Please go to the following link: to access and complete the survey.

At this critical time, the survey seeks information on regional impacts and how you are coping with this situation. Our goal is for growers and those institutions and industries that support growers to be better prepared for drought in the future.  If your farm is affected by the current drought, but you are outside of New York State, please include the state in your answer to question 1. Where is your farm located (nearest town, and county(ies))?

This research is being conducted by NatureNet Science Postdoctoral Fellow Shannan Sweet and Professor David Wolfe as part of their larger project on New York State water resources and agriculture.

Thanks for your help!

Questions or comments? Contact: Shannan Sweet (; 607-255-8641) or David Wolfe (; 607-255-7888)

For more details on the 2016 drought see:

This post was contributed by Shannan Sweet, Postdoctoral Fellow, Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University,

IPM Climate & Weather Conference

Climate, Weather, Data: Protecting Our Crops and Landscapes will be held August 15, 2016 at the Albany County Cornell Cooperative Extension Office, 24 Martin Rd., Voorheesville, NY 12186.  Because space is limited, pre-register on the Registration page. Pre-registration closes on August 10. The Climate, Weather, Data portal has maps, an agenda and registration details. If you have questions, call Amanda Grace at or 315-787-2208. The program will run from 9:00-4:15 and costs $45 – which includes lunch, breaks and materials. Yes, get NYS DEC credits, too!

With all the talk about climate change you might be wondering how it will affect food production, pests, and even landscapes—and what you can do about it. This is definitely a year when weather changes have affected our crops in the Northeast – from the Valentine’s Day massacre winter freeze to plant life gasping for water.  Come and learn how gathering information on weather and climate can help growers, gardeners and landscapers plan for changes. Find details on The Climate and Weather Conference webpage.

We are honored that Richard Ball, the Commissioner of the New York State (NYS) Department of Agriculture and Markets, will kick off the conference with opening remarks. A wide variety of speakers from NYS and the Northeast will provide background information on the current state of knowledge on climate change and changes in our weather patterns, and how collecting climate and weather data can help us predict and manage pests. Open discussion sessions are included so you can ask your own questions. Join us to learn and discuss!

Agenda — access it on the Climate and Weather Conference webpage!

The morning session features information on Collecting weather data and predicting pests culminating with a discussion session with the speakers. The afternoon session covers Climate change and its impact on pests, also punctuated with an open floor when you can discuss your questions with the afternoon’s speakers.

Changing climates will affect our farms, from the crops we grow and the yields we can expect to the pests, weeds, plant and human pathogens, and other biological stressors we face. Nor are our landscapes, forests and wildlife, our homes and gardens, or our cities and roads exempt. What we can do about it? We have choices. Speakers from New York and across the Northeast offer their expertise. You’ll learn

  • how “mesonets,” “Ag-Radar”, and “NEWA” help predict pest or disease outbreaks — in turn preventing infestations while reducing or eliminating sprays, whether on the farm or in our communities
  • how growers in environmentally sensitive areas use data to their advantage
  • how growers can lessen greenhouse gas emissions while improving their resiliency to drought or storms — and their productivity too
  • what changing climate patterns could mean for where crop pests will show up next and what new tools can address the needs
  • farmer-friendly tools that help people make climate-savvy decisions
  • diseases and us: how changing climates could change where we find vectors — the critters new and old that carry diseases to our communities
  • how a real-world simulation of crop growth in 2050 teaches us about which crops are at risk and which others might fill that niche

And especially — what you can do.

Experts from New York and the Northeast include: Richard Ball, commissioner of NYS Ag and Markets; Jerry Brotzge: NYS Mesonet; Becky Wiseman and Laurie McBride: Suffolk County Extension; Julie Carroll, NEWA and NYSIPM; Katie Campbell-Nelson, UMass Extension; Glen Koehler, UMaine Extension; Mike Hoffman and Allison Chatrchyan, Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture; Steve Young, NE IPM Center; David Hollinger, USDA NE Regional Climate Hub; Bryon Backenson, NY Bureau of Communicable Disease Control; Elizabeth Lamb, NYSIPM.

Portions of this post contributed by Mary Woodsen, Science Writer, NYS IPM Program