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$4.5M awarded for next generation grape projects

Bruce Reisch pollinates grapes.

Bruce Reisch pollinates grapes.

From an article by Amanda Garris, Researchers awarded $4.5M for next generation grapes (Cornell Chronicle, 10/11/2011):

“The projects, one led by Cornell grape breeder Bruce Reisch, professor of horticulture, and the other by senior extension associate Tim Martinson, take complementary approaches to a common problem: how to make grape breeding more efficient, since new grape varieties can take more than 20 years to breed and evaluate and much longer to reach commercial success. The projects are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI).”

Read the whole article.

Picture Cornell

Nursery school visits Cornell Orchards

Nursery school visits Cornell Orchards

Picture Cornell — a weekly slide show created by the Cornell Chronicle and University Photography — this week features a nursery school’s visit to Cornell Orchards, Jane Mt. Pleasant engaging students in a game of food trivia during a sustainability dinner, the Johnson museum’s new Japanese garden, and more.

News roundup

'Ad Rem' tulips (foreground) planted on top of tilled soil and covered with mulch. Both varieties used in the study continued to bloom well in the third spring after planting. (Click for larger image.)

'Ad Rem' tulips (foreground) planted on top of tilled soil and covered with mulch. Both varieties used in the study continued to bloom well in the third spring after planting. (Click for larger image.)

Dig no more: Just till 2 inches for tulip bulbs, study finds [Cornell Chronicle, October 12, 2011] features Bill Miller‘s study showing that a much easier method of planting tulip bulbs is just as effective as digging the traditional 6 to 8 inch holes for each bulb.

Extension trains Roosevelt Island maintenance staff in landscape horticulture [Cornell Chronicle, October 10, 2011] – Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC) Urban Environment Program recently completed second year of professional development sessions including classroom and lab instruction on such topics as introduction to botany, plant and weed identification, soil and plant nutrition, and planting and maintenance of trees and shrubs.

Two recent articles feature former Cornellians: Fruit Wines Move Into a Sophisticated Realm [New York Times, October 8, 2011] features Jamie Jones, the sixth-generation owner of Jones Family Farm in Shelton, Conn., who added grapes to the family’s 400-acre farm fruit farm in 1999 to provide more wine-making options. Mums for Everyone profiles the Gerard Family — three generations of Cornell alumni — who run The Mum Farm in New Hartford, N.Y.

‘Club varieties’ of apples — where germplasm is restricted to certain growers and marketing and quality control are carefully managed — has received a lot of ink lately as possibly a new model for produce. Susan Brown, associate chair, is cited in The Lexus of Fruit [The Daily, October 1, 2011]: “Another model for apple regulation is being explored in Washington and New York. Washington State University and Cornell have both released new apple varieties exclusively to growers in that state. Susan Brown, who helped develop New York varieties as professor of horticulture at Cornell, said the biggest advantage to this approach will be more upfront money for marketing and, hopefully, an economic boost for the state.” There’s an extensive interview on the subject with the Dyson School’s Brad Rickard at the Perishable Pundit.

Specialty crop research funding

Via New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets news release:

New York State officials announced $1 million in research funds will go towards specialty crop research, grower education and consumer outreach and market development. Specialty crops include fruit, vegetables, maple, honey, horticulture and nursery/landscape. The Specialty Crop Block Grants are funded and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Cornell projects totaled $506,652 and include:

Improving Management and Profitability of Sweet Corn Through Enhanced Insect Control
Sweet corn is the most widely grown and valuable vegetable crop in New York, valued at $80.1 million in 2010. This project will examine the resistance of European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm to pyrethroids and will also test insecticides against the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, a newly invasive pest of sweet corn in states adjacent to New York and recently detected on Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

Diagnostic Services for Monitoring & Managing Recent Outbreak of Bloat Nematode on Garlic in New York State
In 2010, an outbreak of the stem and bulb (Bloat) nematode occurred on garlic throughout New York that resulted in significant yield and profitability losses. This project will offer New York’s garlic growers a nematode analysis service, which will be critical to controlling, managing and documenting the spread of this costly pathogen.

Managing Japanese Beetle in eastern Vineyards by Reducing Grub Populations in Sod Row Middles with Persistent Entomopathogenic Nematodes
Grapes are the second largest fruit crop in New York. Japanese beetles cause significant defoliation of grapevines resulting in multiple applications of insecticides. This project develops the use of persistent Entomopathogenic (insect-attacking) nematodes to manage foliar feeding damage by adult Japanese beetles in vineyards, thereby increasing profits and minimizing potential environmental impacts.

Biological Control of Plum Curculio in Organic Apple Production Systems
Plum curculio is the single greatest insect pest challenge for organic apple production. This project will evaluate the potential of New York cold adapted entomopathogenic (insect-attacking) nematodes to reduce the impact of plum curculio on organic apple production, reduce the cost of organic apple production, provide a higher degree of marketable fruit and a higher profit for the organic apple producer.

Developing a Monitoring, Scouting & Damage Assessment Tool to Assess the Spread and Impact of the Invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a native of Asia and an invasive insect in both urban and agricultural landscapes. Confirmed in 33 states, including New York, its dramatic population explosions in 2010 devastated agricultural commodities throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, resulting in $37 million in losses to tree fruit alone. This project will employ GIS-based mapping architecture to effectively coordinate and display information important for pest management decision making.

Predicting Chemical Thinning of Apple to Maximize Crop Value of Apple Orchards
One of the most critical apple production problems is to predictably reduce the crop load per tree so that each tree achieves the optimum number of apples and fruit size, which in turn maximizes market value. This project will help growers predict chemical thinning responses by using a carbohydrate supply/demand model, which utilizes weather data to predict the trees carbohydrate status and thus susceptibility to chemical thinner action. If this project helps half of the apple growers in the state consistently achieve the optimum fruit size on 25,000 acres of apples it will have a potential economic impact of $100-175 million annually.

Testing Budwood for Latent Fire Blight Bacteria Threatening Nursery Trees and New Plantings
Apple production in New York is valued at over $200 million annually. New apple plantings in New York suffer up to 80% tree loss from fire blight. If fire blight is spread through nursery stock, the original source of bacteria may be budwood collected from infected mother trees, as reported from Washington State. This project will investigate the phenomenon of bud-transmitted fire blight, and then establish protocols for preventing it.

The Department of Agriculture & Markets will be using $447,423 to implement two statewide consumer outreach and market development projects:

Expanding Consumer Awareness and Institutional Purchasing Capacity of New York Food and Farms
Retailers, wholesalers, distributors, restaurants, schools, institutions and the public are seeking a wide range of local farm products in varying quantities and geographic locations. This project will assist consumers and small-scale commercial buyers in easily searching for and locating sources of food and specialty crop agricultural products grown in New York State, through a comprehensive on-line directory of producers and value-added processors.

Enhancing the Marketing & Promotion of Regional “Buy Local” Campaigns
As the buy local market has grown and consumers have become more educated about the benefits of buying local, many are seeking products that are produced as nearby as possible. This project will build the capacity of regional organizations to increase the sales of producers by developing regional brands and functionally integrating regional efforts on a statewide basis. The project will provide financial resources to regions to purchase media time, including radio, television, on-line banners, print advertising, etc.

Seminar video: Ken Shackel on xylem

If you missed Monday’s seminar, here’s Ken Shackel, professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California-Davis, on What X-rays are telling us about xylem structure and function.

Beaman ‘11 finalist in Wine Spectator competition

Via Kari Richards from the Viticulture and Enology Major News blog:

May graduate Whitney Beaman won finalist recognition and two free tickets for Wine Spectator’s grand tastings for her video The Gentleman and the Scientist. “An old school silent film shot in the modern day covering some basic wine tasting characteristics.”

Video: David Wolfe on Climate Change and the Future of New York

David Wolfe, chair of the climate change focus group at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, talked about vulnerabilities of the New York landscape due to climate change, including increased flooding and pest pressure, as well as strategies for adaptation and mitigation at the September 20, 2011 Inside Cornell session at Cornell’s ILR Conference Center in Midtown Manhattan.

Wolfe is also quoted in the Oct. 7 USA Today (Study: Climate change to impact where wine grapes can grow): “‘The pace of change projected for this century is far beyond what previous generations of farmers have had to face,’ Cornell’s Wolfe says.”

Visit the Cornell Climate Change website.

View video at CornellCast.

News roundup

Ian Merwin working with Pashtun fruit growers in Afghanistan

Ian Merwin working with Pashtun fruit growers in Afghanistan

Ian Merwin is profiled in the October 4 Cornell Daily Sun: Prof. Merwin ’90: Horticulturalist, Local Farmer, Avocado Expert.

Nina Bassuk explains fall colors on North Country Public Radio: Fall leaves reaching their peak this week in the Adirondacks.

The October 2 Ithaca Journal (A forest is more than trees) reports on the open house at MacDaniels Nut Grove, where Ken Mudge demonstrated how to inoculate logs with shiitake mushroom spawn and other forest farming practices. “‘A lot of people want to maintain their woodlot,’ said Mudge. ‘They don’t want to sell it; they don’t just want to ignore it.’ Forest farming, he said, ‘is a bridge between the wild and the formalized garden.'”

New from Timber Press

New from Timber Press

Susan Lang reviews The Complete Book of Potatoes, by Hielke De Jong, Joseph B. Sieczka, and Walter De Jong, in the October 5 Cornell Chronicle article One potato, two potato … All about growing 55 disease-free potatoes and more.

After 29 years, nine-spotted ladybugs found on Long Island, according to an article in the Cornell Chronicle. “The nine-spotted ladybug, New York’s official state insect, was feared to be extinct in this state until citizen scientists rallied to Cornell’s call to help look for it. Several nine-spotted ladybugs were spotted by citizen scientists on Long Island this summer.”

This week in HORT 1101 – Landscape installation

Nina Bassuk demonstrates how to install container-grown plants.

Nina Bassuk demonstrates how to install container-grown plants.

From Frank Rossi, who introduces students to plants grown for foods, beverages, fiber, aesthetics and recreation in HORT 1101 (Horticultural Science and Systems).

This week in HORT 1101 (well, last week actually), we had a landscape installation experience with Nina Bassuk (right), professor and head of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell. The two lab groups were assigned sections of front slope of Comstock Hall to clean up existing plants (such as smoke bush, forsythia, juniper), incorporate compost, plant some improved plants from Plantasia Nursery and mulch the area.

With help from Kevin McGraw’s group from Cornell Grounds, we removed old damaged plants and got to explore the troubles and perils of urban soils. (The slope was made from building fill from Comstock Hall construction.) The students learned about new juniper and forsythia varieties and proper planting techniques, such as notching and facing plants.

HORT 1101 class spreads mulch outside Comstock Hall

HORT 1101 class spreads mulch outside Comstock Hall

The class’s legacy will now be on display for years to come beautifying the campus.

HORT 1101 class with job well done.

HORT 1101 class with job well done.

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