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July 20 webinar: High Tech Precision Orchard Spraying

On Monday, July 20th at 4:00pm, Mike Basedow of the CCE ENYCH team is hosting a Precision Orchard Spraying webinar.  The work being presented has pertinence to berry crops, grapes and even staked vegetables.  Please share widely and consider attending if you have interest in this topic.

High Tech Precision Orchard Spraying

  • Date – July 20, 2020
  • Time – 4:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Location – Zoom webinar
  • Host – Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Join us the afternoon of July 20th to learn what’s new in orchard precision spraying technology. We’ll be joined by Dr. Jason Deveau, Dr. Heping Zhu, and Steve Booher.

Jason is an Application Technology Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Jason literally “wrote the book” on precision spraying, and will discuss the basic principles of precision spraying, along with what has been achieved over the last 35 years using rate controllers.

We will then hear from Dr. Zhu and Steve Booher. Heping is an Agricultural Engineer with the US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, and has extensively researched intelligent spray application technologies for horticultural crops. Steve is the founder and CEO of Smart Guided Systems, who worked closely with Heping to commercialize their research into the Smart Apply Intelligent Spray Control SystemTM.  Heping and Steve will discuss the science behind and the commercial application of their system, which utilizes pulsed lasers and advanced computer algorithms to remotely sense the volume of each tree to deliver a precise spray volume in real time.

After their presentations, we will open up the meeting for all three presenters to field questions and comments.

We request that you register ahead: Online registration.


Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA

  • The physics of pressure and flow (opening definitions and context).
  • The relationship between flow and travel speed on application rate: The plants perspective.
  • Rate controllers: Why haven’t air-assist sprayers adopted this technology (New since 1985!)
  • How rate controllers solve problems (and cause a couple).
  • Rate controllers: Three levels of sophistication.
  • Rate controllers: The gateway drug to precision agriculture and traceability.

 Dr. Heping Zhu, USDA ARS, and Steve Booher, Smart Guided Systems

  • Basic theory and science behind the smart apply precision spray system
  • Results of field tests
  • Current Smart Apply commercial products and what growers can do with them

 Open Q&A

View flyer.

New publication: Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

New at the Cornell Small Farms website:

Best Management Practices for U-Pick Farms During the COVID-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick operations for the 2020 season.

.pdf version

Agenda for Eastern NY Fruit and Vegetable Conference Small Fruit Session

From Laura McDermott.

More conference information here, including tree fruit, FSMA, grapes, vegetable and hemp sessions:

Eastern NY Fruit and Vegetable conference Small Fruit Session

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

The Desmond, 660 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, New York 12211

9:00 AM               Introductions and DEC sign up – Laura McDermott, CCE ENYCHP

9:05 AM               Using UV light to manage plant pathogens – Dr. David Gadoury, Cornell AgriTech

9:35 AM               Weed management in berry crops – Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, Cornell

10:05 AM            Impacts of growing practices on strawberry fruit quality in New York State – Anya Osatuke, Cornell

10:35 AM            Improving Customer Satisfaction in U-Pick Operations for higher Sales – Insights from   2019 Survey – Dr. Miguel Gomez, Dyson School, Cornell


11:05 AM           The Why’s and How’s of Exclusion Netting at Island BlueberriesSteve Vandevord,  Island Blueberries, Grand Isle, VT

11:35 AM            Biorational fungicides for berry crops – how effective are they? Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell AgriTech

12:05 PM             Managing agricultural pests in the modern era: impacts of continuing invasions by non-native pests – Dr. Dara Stockton, Cornell AgriTech

12:30 PM             Adjourn

Knowing berry pests’ varied diets may help control them

Spotted-wing drosophila  on a blueberry

Spotted-wing drosophila cause billions of dollars in damage to fruit crops across Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

Cornell Chronicle [2019-08-06]

With New York state’s $20 million berry industry entering peak season, an invasive fruit fly is thriving.

Female spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii Matsumura) have a special ovipositor (a tube through which a female insect deposits eggs) with a saw-like end that allows them to cut into soft fruits and insert their eggs. The larvae and adults feed on the fruits, causing billions of dollars in damage across Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

But little has been known about how the pests survive before and after the growing season.

A Cornell study, published in May in Ecological Entomology, investigates for the first time what spotted-wing drosophila adults and larvae eat, and where they lay their eggs, when these short-lived fruits are not in season.

“They will lay eggs and successfully develop on less preferred resources and not the typical fruit that we think they prefer,” said Greg Loeb, professor of entomology at Cornell AgriTech and a co-author of the paper. Dara Stockton, a postdoctoral associate in Loeb’s lab, is the paper’s first author.

Read the whole article.

Spotted Lanternfly webinars

In conjunction with the New York State IPM Program and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Northeastern IPM Center will host a collection of webinars, titled “Spotted Lanternfly Basics.”

Each webinar will focus on, and be tailored to, a specific commodity group:

  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Hops, Berry, and Vegetable Growers (Feb. 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Grape and Apple Industries (Feb. 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Christmas Tree Growers (Mar. 4, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Industries (Mar. 4, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)

All webinars will follow a similar format that covers spotted lanternfly biology, identification, and hosts, monitoring and management strategies, and a regulatory update. While the content may be relevant to audiences throughout the Northeast, management practices covered will be specific to New York. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

For more information and registration links, go to:

Pollinator Conservation Short Course Nov. 7

Pollinator Conservation Short Course
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom, NY
Wednesday November 7th, 2018
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

This full day workshop will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators, especially bees, in agricultural landscapes. The course will provide an overview of bee natural history and farm practices that support pollinators, such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology and integrated crop pollination, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit which includes Xerces’ book, Attracting Native Pollinators. as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.

The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Short Courses, as well as Conservation Biological Control Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information.

More information.



New grape, strawberry and raspberry varieties released

From the CALS News:

Fall 2017 issue of New York Berry News is available online

  Volume 16, Number 3 – Fall 2017

In this issue:

  • Exclusion Netting to Combat SWD
  • Lyme Disease: Ticks and the Diseases They Carry
  • “How to”: Berry Diseases
  • New Farmers Grant Fund Program
  • Growing frustration about the weather: What can we do?
  • SWD Webinars
  • Rainfall Survey
  • NEWA Survey and Berry Models
  • Organic Fruit Sales Surge 12%
  • Utilizing Plasticulture
  • Berry Production Course
  • High Tunnel Raspberry and Blackberry Guide
  • Root Weevils in Berries
  • SWD: Year in Review

Visit the revamped Cornell Berry Resources website to view back issues and more.

Cornell Small Farms Program offers Berry Production distance learning course

If you’re exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing.

Upon completion of this course, which starts November 7, you will understand:

  • Primary considerations when choosing a site for successful berry farming
  • Basic cultural demands of the 3 major berry crops (strawberry, blueberry and brambles)
  • Cultural requirements of an array of lesser known berry crops
  • Pest complexes of the major berry crops
  • Post-harvest requirements of berries
  • Considerations for successful marketing of berry crops
  • How to analyze costs vs. expenses and be able to incorporate them into a business plan

The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss a webinar, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

The Instructors are Laura McDermott, team leader and regional fruit and vegetable specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Eastern NY, and Jim O’Connell, the small fruits educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ulster County, NY.

More information | More Small Farms Program online courses

Berry Crops Field Workshop August 29, Stephentown, NY

Come and learn from experts!

  • Dr. Greg Loeb, Cornell
  • Dr. Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM and  NEWA
  • Dale Ila Riggs, The Berry Patch
  • Laura McDermott, CCE ENYCHP

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Plasticulture strawberry production for June berries and Day Neutral
  • Low tunnels on strawberries
  • High tunnel raspberry production
  • Exclusion netting to control SWD in blueberries
  • Using computer models to improve pest management of berry crops
  • Collaboration between NEWA and NYS Mesonet

More information.

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