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Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Entrepreneur Conference Nov. 1-2

cea greensFrom Neil Mattson, Director, Cornell CEA and Associate Professor, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science:

Do you have a serious interest in developing a business plan for a New York state based commercial CEA vegetable operation? This conference is for you.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) enables year-round production of fresh vegetables through greenhouse environmental control (heating, lighting) combined with hydroponic/soilless production systems. While CEA is an increasingly popular method of meeting consumer demand for locally grown food, many factors must be considered when developing a business plan and assessing its viability. This conference is intended to provide more detailed knowledge of CEA production systems, economics, marketing, and ways to access financing and state resources. It will also help guide new or transitioning operations through the process of developing a business plan for a CEA greenhouse vegetable business.

Read more about the conference and view the full agenda.

If you think this is for you, you’ll need to apply to attend. But if selected, the program is free. (You’ll need to cover travel and lodging expenses.)

Applications are due by September 29 and must be completed online here. If selected to attend you will be notified by October 3.

If you have questions, please contact me:  nsm47@cornell.edu

cea lighting system

Curiosity and expertise earn Excellence in IPM award for Cornell ‘pumpkin whisperer’

NYSIPM program news release:

Meg McGrath, a Cornell University plant pathologist based at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, is an internationally recognized researcher, sought-after speaker, and well-versed in the solutions to devastating plant diseases.

And for growers with trouble on their hands, she’s available at a moment’s notice.

These qualities and more have earned McGrath an Excellence in IPM award from Cornell University’s New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM).

McGrath’s expertise spans the gamut of IPM strategies and tactics that both organic and conventional growers use to combat disease pests such as late blight and downy mildew. “Meg embraced the concepts of integrated pest management from the beginning of her career,” says colleague Margery Daughtrey. “She does a splendid job of bringing her discoveries to the practical level for growers in dozens of presentations annually.”

But it’s her help in the field that farmers value the most — help that’s delivered with a welcome dose of levity. “Meg’s funny,” says Marilee Foster at Foster’s Farm in Sagponack. “She’ll say ‘I’m sorry, I’m a plant pathologist. I like to study sick plants.’” When a nearby outbreak of late blight threatened Foster’s organic heirloom tomatoes, Meg came to help scout — “arriving early so we’d have the visual benefit of dew,” Foster says.

When they found a handful of plants with symptoms, McGrath reviewed Foster’s alternatives, but none were suited for organic crops. The strategy they hit on together? Using a handheld weed-flamer to take down suspect plants. “Blight can’t handle temperatures much above eighty degrees,” Meg told Foster. “And it might feel good!”  Which, Foster agrees, it did.

Meg focuses on core IPM principles — principles such as careful identification so you don’t treat a disease the wrong way, or changing a crop’s environment to outsmart its pathogens. “She helps Long Island growers deal with the limited availability of products they can use to manage pests, given the island’s heightened groundwater concerns,” says Jennifer Grant, director, NYS IPM. “It’s not every day you find someone who brings such warmth and knowledge to a position that means so much to so many farmers’ livelihood.”

Marilee Foster echoes that. “I have long admired the energy and curiosity Meg brings to farmers in eastern Long Island. We are lucky to have her working with us, for everyone.”

McGrath received her award on January 18 at the 2017 Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, New York. Learn more about integrated pest management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

 

Greenhouse/High Tunnel Vegetable IPM webinars start February 9

From Betsy Lamb, NYS Integrated Pest Management Program:

We will be holding a series of short webinars on Greenhouse/High Tunnel Vegetable IPM on Thursdays from 12-1 in February and March.  The intent is for each topic to be briefly covered and then followed by discussion:

  • Feb 9 and Feb 16: Basics of light, water fertility, media as they relate to pest management
  • Feb 23: Vegetable crop production in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 2: Disease management in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 9: Insect management in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 16: Weed management in greenhouses and high tunnels, especially in winter production
  • Mar 23: How to write/use an IPM plan

All webinars will be delivered via Zoom and recorded in case you can’t attend in person. During the week of April 24 we will hold a training session in Geneva to follow up on these webinars.

For more information, contact me:  eml38@cornell.edu

© 2017 Cornell University. This web resource is designed to enhance access to Cornell's vegetable production resources. This site is a project of the Cornell Vegetable Program Work Team (PWT). Visit the About section for more information on the team. Comments or questions? Email Valpuri Sovero, Extension Associate, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, or Craig Cramer, Communication Specialist, School of Integrative Plant Science. Some of the informational links provided are not maintained by, nor are the responsibility of, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University. Mention of commercial products and trade names is for educational and informational purposes only. Manufacturers' instructions change. Read the manufacturers' instructions on the pesticide label carefully before use. Inclusion of information is not intended as an endorsement by Cornell Cooperative Extension or Cornell University, nor is discrimination of excluded information implied. Cornell University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer.
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