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Reminder: Soil Health Training Workshop Aug. 16-19

soil health training manualFrom Larissa Smith, Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences:

The Cornell Soil Health Team will be providing its second annual Cornell Soil Health Train-the-Trainer Intensive Workshop this summer from August 16-19. This international workshop focuses on measuring soil health and improving soils through holistic soil management. The target audience is professionals working with agricultural and nonagricultural (including urban) soil management issues.

The Cornell Soil Health Program has developed cost-effective methods for soil health assessment, targeting important soil processes such as aeration, drainage, root growth, disease pressure, nutrient release, etc. Specific management recommendations are also suggested to address soil health constraints.

This intensive soil health workshop will include a mix of classroom training, hands-on laboratory experience, field assessment of soil health, generating the soil health report and its interpretation, and a field trip to local farms to discuss adopted soil health practices. Registration and program information are available on our website.

Sign up now, while there is still space – the program is limited to 35 participants!

Right Perennial, Right Place

right perennial, right place From a new, full-color, large format brochure — Right Perennial, Right Place — from a project sponsored in part by the Department of Horticulture:

“For successful perennial gardening you need to choose plants that fit your site, including environmental conditions. Just as perennials come in all sizes, shapes, colors and bloom times, New York has climate zones that range from just cold in the winter to positively arctic! You
need plants that can tough it out where you live.

“Check out these 14 perennials, chosen by a panel of nursery and garden center owners. We think they’re worthy of greater use, and that’s why we’re trialing them at 10 sites statewide. We want to see how each holds up to local conditions–helping you choose the right perennial for the right place.”

Trialing locations include Lockwoods Greenhouse (Hamburg, NY), Mike Weber Greenhouses (Gardenville, NY), Cook & Gardener (Plattsburg, NY), Techni-Growers (Warwick, NY), Patroon Nursery (Wynantskill, NY),
Martin Viette Nursery, (East Norwich, NY), Mark Adams Greenhouses (Poughkeepsie, NY), Baker’s Acres (Groton, NY), and Grossmans (Penfield, NY).

Additional support for the project came from the New York Farm Viability Institute, New York State Flower Industries Inc. and the New York State IPM Program.
right perennials

You are Cornell photo challenge

Jenn Thomas is Cornell
Jenn Thomas is Cornell! [Click image for larger view.]

From Lisa Cameron-Norfleet, Director, Office Of Web Communications, Cornell University:

Cornell is bigger than a bunch of buildings sitting on a hill. Cornell is thousands of people, each with their own story. Let’s start piecing together that mosaic and show the world who we are.

Make a sign telling how Cornell is in your life, how the university has touched your world, how you relate to the Big Red. Then, have someone snap your photo holding it. The only rules are that your sign must have your name (first only) and the phrase “I Am Cornell” on it. If you are or were a student, it would be great if you included your class year too.

Be creative. Have fun. Share your Cornell with the world.

We have started a Flickr group online at

You must be a member to post your photo to the group and membership requires a Flickr account (free). If you do not have a Flickr account but would like to submit a photo, please send a JPG, GIF, or PNG of your photo to

Online berry resources revamped

New berry portal of the Cornell Fruit website.

New berry portal of the Cornell Fruit website.

The berry portal of the Cornell Fruit website and the online Berry Diagnostic Tool have been redesigned, revamped and relaunched.

Improvements in the berry portal include a redesigned homepage, easier access to featured resources, an updated 2010 berry label alert page, and direct links to berry-related articles from the NY Fruit Quarterly.

The Berry Diagnostic Tool, was originally designed in 2001 by Dr. Marvin Pritts as an online compliment to NRAES’ berry production guides. Users click through a series of questions to diagnose common berry problems. The 2010 version, extensively revised and expanded by Dr. Pritts and Extension Berry Specialist Cathy Heidenreich, now provides more on biotic and abiotic diseases, insects and mites, and wildlife damage.

Northeast-SARE funds N.Y. horticulture projects

nesareNew York and Northeast fruit and vegetable growers will benefit from a cornucopia of projects funded for 2010 by the Northeast Region of the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. New York-based projects addressing horticulture include:

  • Reducing climatic and disease risks through minimum-tillage systems for vegetables. Anusuya Rangarajan, Cornell University, Ithaca NY
  • Cultivation of shiitake mushrooms as an agroforestry crop for New England. Ken Mudge, Cornell Forest Farming and Mushroom Cultivation Program, Ithaca NY
  • Sustainable pest management in high tunnel winter greens production. Judson Reid, Cornell University, Penn Yan NY
  • Low-to-no-heat hanging baskets. Judson Reid, Cornell University, Penn Yan NY
  • How to use season extension effectively for winter market sales: Investigating planting dates, types of covers, and fertility. Robert Hadad, Cornell University, Lockport NY
  • Optimizing strawberry production with a reduced tillage system. Laura McDermott, Cornell University, Hudson Falls NY
  • Improving the profitability of onions grown on aging muck soil that has high pH. Christine Hoepting, Cornell University, Albion NY
  • Developing Integrated Pest Management protocols for Northeast organic apple production.
    Peter Jentsch, Cornell University, Highland NY
  • Small-scale commercial Juneberry establishment and marketing. James Ochterski, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, Canandaigua NY
  • Determining the potential for organic material use in Northeast commercial pear production. Peter Jentsch, Cornell University, Highland NY
  • Efficient and safe food handling for small-scale vegetable producers. Molly Shaw, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Tioga County, Owego NY
  • Shelf life and marketing window extension in sweet cherries in New York. Craig Kahlke, Cornell University, Lockport NY
  • Improving the yield and quality of sweet potatoes grown in New York. Charles Bornt, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Troy NY
  • CNY Bounty: Strengthening community through enhancing marketing and distribution opportunities for farmers. Susan Parker, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, Morrisville NY

Find project summaries at the NESARE website.

They said it

There’s an old expression that ‘great wine is made in the vineyard,’ and it’s true.

Justine Vanden Heuvel, an assistant professor of viticulture at Cornell who identifies compounds in the vineyard that lead to specific flavors and aromas in wine. (What makes wines different? Cornell studies region’s ‘terroir’, Ithaca Journal, May 4, 2010.)

It is important to Cornell and the breeding program to partner with our New York industry.

Susan Brown, the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Horticultural Sciences, who directs Cornell’s apple breeding program on the release of two new Cornell apple varieties. (Two new apple varieties released for NYS growers only, Cornell Chronicle, May 10, 2010.)

Getting them off to a good start is the most important way that homeowners can protect [new] trees. Water it, protect it from construction, choose the right tree for your area. There has to be a match between the tree and the site, which is why knowing the site conditions is important.

Nina Bassuk, director of Cornell’s Urban Horticulture Institute (Green Solutions: Urban Forestry and Your Home, networx, May 4, 2010.)

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