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Plant Sciences Chili Cook-Off fundraiser March 1

chili_cookoffNote change of venue: Whetzel Seminar Room, 404 Plant Science Bldg

From Grant Thompson, MS/PhD Student, Graduate Field of Horticulture

The Plant Sciences Chili Cook-Off will be held in the 2nd floor lobby of the Plant Science Building (in front of room 233) on Friday, March 1st from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The Departments of Crop and Soil Science, Horticulture, Plant Biology, Plant Breeding, and Plant Pathology should assemble their best chili chefs in three categories:

  1. Meat
  2. Vegetarian
  3. Wild-Card (contains at least one non-traditional chili ingredient)

Graduate students, Faculty, and Staff are all welcome to participate! To enter the contest, email chili entries to:

Please include the following info:

  • names of cooks
  • department
  • category
  • name of chili

Registration deadline is Friday, February 22. We only have room for 25 chili entrants – so don’t delay registering! There will be prizes for the winners of each chili category.

The Cook-Off will also feature a fund raising raffle with great prizes donated by each of the Plant Science Depts. and local businesses!

Beverages will be served by Cheers with Your Peers.

Congratulations Glenn, Robin and Russ.

From a Weed Science Society of America news release:

Glenn J. Evans, Robin R. Bellinder and Russell R. Hahn won an Outstanding Paper Award from the Weed Science Society of America for their paper in Weed Technology: An Evaluation of Two Novel Cultivation Tools. Evans is director of agricultural operations for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Bellinder and Hahn work in research and extension at Cornell University. Evans is director of agricultural operations for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Bellinder and Hahn work in research and extension at Cornell University.

The two novel tools  are block and stirrup cultivators created by Evans.  You can see them in action here:

View Evan’s presentation on his research.

Adapt-N chosen 2012 Top Product of the Year

Adapt-N — an online tool that helps precisely manage nitrogen inputs for grain, silage or sweet corn developed by a team in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences — was selected as the Best New Product of the Year 2012 by AgProfessional magazine, the leading publication related to agronomic and business management for agricultural retailers/distributors, professional farm managers and crop consultants.

Adapt-N took a huge 52 percent of the vote, and it is the first time a non-commercial organization received the award.

Harold van Es“The Adapt-N Team at Cornell University is very honored to receive the award, and it is a distinction to be the first university to receive it,” said Harold van Es (right), professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University. “We are very pleased with this recognition from a key group of professionals in the agricultural sector.

“The Adapt-N tool provides benefits to crop producers and can also reduce the environmental impacts of nitrogen use on corn. Such win-win approaches are most promising to enhancing the sustainability of corn production in the U.S. Therefore, having the support of agricultural consulting professionals is critical to achieving this goal.”

Free: New guide to urban farming in New York State

New urban farmng guide

New urban farmng guide

From Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program (

Are you interested in or currently farming in a city?  Do you wonder how to access land, how to reclaim a contaminated site, how to maximize use of a small growing space, or how to most successfully target your urban market?

The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce the release of our new Guide to URBAN Farming in New York State.  The Guide answers these and many other common questions about farming in urban environments, and can help you launch, continue, or expand your urban farm business.

The 105-page resource guide contains factsheets on a myriad of topics, including tips for:

  • Advocating for urban agriculture
  • Engaging communities
  • Dealing with contaminated soils
  • Intensive growing techniques
  • Urban composting
  • Site security
  • Urban livestock
  • Direct marking options
  • Accepting food stamps
  • Grant and financial opportunities
  • And many more!

Also included is an appendix listing services and resources available from several urban farming organizations throughout New York State.

Whether you’re looking to grow food on your roof top, keep chickens in your backyard, learn more about hydroponics or start an urban CSA, the Guide to URBAN Farming in New York State will provide or direct you to the information you need to know.

The Guide is available as a free .pdf download or you may view individual fact sheets online (good for dial-up or bandwidth restricted users).

For more small farm news and events, visit the Cornell Small Farms Program website.  For beginning farmer assistance, visit the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project website.

New Cornell grape names harvested through naming challenge

Introducing ‘Arandell’ (formerly NY95.0301.01, left) and ‘Aromella’ (formerly NY76.0844.24, right).  The new names of the grapes were announced February 7 at the Viticulture 2013 conference.

Introducing ‘Arandell’ (formerly NY95.0301.01, left) and ‘Aromella’ (formerly NY76.0844.24, right). The new names of the grapes were announced February 7 at the Viticulture 2013 conference.

Cornell Chronicle article [2/7/2013] by Kate Frazer, agricultural stations communications officer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

After a novel naming challenge drew more than 1,000 suggestions from around the world, a Cornell University breeder has revealed the secret identities of two new wine grapes: ‘Arandell’ and ‘Aromella’.

Bruce Reisch, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, introduced the grapes at Viticulture 2013 in Rochester, N.Y., Feb. 7.

‘Arandell’—a mash-up of “arandano,” the Spanish word for blueberry, and the “ell” from Cornell—is the first grape released from The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station’s “no-spray” vineyard.

Reisch hopes its hint of blueberry will attract wine lovers, while its superior resistance to downy and powdery mildews will appeal to growers interested in more sustainable practices. Its name was suggested by Michael Fleischhauer, retired computer analyst and wine enthusiast from Juneau, Alaska.

‘Aromella’, an aromatic, muscat white wine grape, was named by Michael Borboa, a Californian winemaker and songwriter who used a lyric exercise he uses for writing songs. ‘Aromella’ ranks high for winter hardiness and productivity. Reisch says its release is timely given the growing popularity of muscat wines.

The project emerged almost accidently when Anna Katharine Mansfield, assistant professor of enology, suggested emailing colleagues to introduce two varieties ripe for naming. As news of their appeal spread through the proverbial grapevine, it attracted coverage from outlets including NPR’s Morning Edition and Bon Appétit online.

Read the rest of the article.

More information:

More coverage:

Goffinet, Cornell Cooperative Extension recognized by New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Martin Goffinet

Martin Goffinet

From February 6 news release from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation:

The New York Wine & Grape Foundation said a big “Thank You” to several individuals and businesses at its annual “Unity Banquet” on Wednesday, February 6 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rochester. Among them:

  • The Research Award, for major contributions in research and education to benefit the New York grape and wine industry, was presented to Dr. Martin Goffinet. A world expert in the structure, anatomy and growth of the grapevine, Martin’s research for over 30 years has provided important fundamental understanding of how grapes grow as well as the anatomical bases of many of practical problems.
  • The Industry Award, presented to an individual or organization which has made a major contribution in advancing the interests of the New York grape and wine industry, was presented to Cornell Cooperative Extension. For decades, “Extension,” as it is commonly known, has played a vital role in communicating the results of research and other important information to grape growers, winemakers, and others throughout New York State.

The Unity Banquet was a highlight of Viticulture 2013, a three-day conference and trade show held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center for members of the New York grape and wine industry organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Cornell Cooperative Extension. In addition to New Yorkers, attendees came from 25 other states and four foreign countries.

Winning grape names to be released Thursday

The new names for  NY95.0301.01 (left) and NY76.0844.24 (right) will be announced Thursday, February 7 at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester, N.Y.

The new names for NY95.0301.01 (left) and NY76.0844.24 (right) will be announced Thursday, February 7 at the Viticulture 2013 conference.

Last July, Cornell University asked the public to suggest names for two new grape cultivars known as NY95.0301.01 and NY76.0844.24.

The contest drew over 1,000 entries from wine lovers on every continent, excepting Antarctica.

The winning names for the red and white wine grapes won’t be announced until Thursday, February 7 at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester, N.Y.

But two of the losers — rather, runners-up — can be revealed now: Colbert Red and Stewart White.

In the videos below, Bruce Reisch, Department of Horticulture and Anna Katharine Mansfield, Department of Food Science, describe the wine made from the two new grapes and why ‘Colbert’ and ‘Stewart’ didn’t pass the sniff test.

More names that didn’t quite make the cut at Cornell University on tumblr.

New York vegetable sales break records in 2012

Stephen ReinersStephen Reiners, Associate Professor, Horticulture, Cornell University, passes along his annual report on New York’s vegetable sales based on statistics from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

For the first time in New York, the farm gate value of a single vegetable, cabbage, exceeded $100 million. The farm gate value of New York vegetables was the highest ever, with an estimate of close to $530 million.

Acreage of fresh market vegetables held steady in 2012 and the increase in value was due to both a relatively large increase in average yield for most crops along with prices that were slightly higher than 2011. 2012 was, for the most part, hot and dry, and growers were forced to irrigate through much of the season. Though adding to costs, growers who could irrigate saw the benefit in terms of yield increases.

Read the whole report.

In the news

David WolfeTwo professors lead national climate report [Cornell Chronicle 1/31/2013] – Americans can expect more heat waves, heavy downpours, floods and droughts, sea level rise and ocean acidification, according to a draft national climate assessment report that included two Cornell researchers as lead authors. David Wolfe (right), professor of horticulture, was a lead author on a Northeast climate section, and Drew Harvell, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was a lead author of an oceans and marine resources section in the Federal Advisory Committee’s Draft Climate Assessment Report, released in January. “This document will be an essential science-based resource for decision-makers in our communities and businesses who are rolling up their sleeves to take on the challenges and build resilience to climate change,” said Wolfe, who chairs the Climate Change Focus Group at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

New agricultural research funding model gains momentum [Cornell Chronicle 1/31/2013] – Every dollar invested in agricultural research produces an estimated $10 in economic returns and helps feed a growing population, according to the USDA Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Thomas Burr, associate dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), appealed to growers to make an investment in the future of their industries at a panel discussion at the Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Syracuse, N.Y., Jan. 22. Burr says the commitment of private grower groups to invest in research is a bright light, and he envisions a model that would scale up these groups’ investments and ensure they are matched by the state.

Changes in epigenome control tomato ripening [Cornell Chronicle 1/29/2013] – Scientists at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service have discovered a set of chemical changes to a plant’s DNA plays a pivotal role in tomato ripening, signaling to the fruit when the time is right to redden.

Ornamental grasses in midwinter sun, Minns Garden.

Ornamental grasses in midwinter sun, Minns Garden.

Winter Gardens at Cornell: Beauty In the Snow [ 1/23/2013] – Profiles Cornell Plantations’ winter crown jewel: the Mullestein Winter Garden. Among the other recommended winter campus destiations: “Minns Garden, located at the west end of Tower Road, is a colorful perennial garden providing four season interest with ornamental grasses, espaliered apple trees, and three botanically inspired steel entrance gates designed and built by local artist blacksmith Durand Van Doren in 2008.”

Wolfe and DeGaetano comment on Obama’s call for U.S. leadership on Climate Change [Cornell University Press Office 1/22/2013 – “It is very satisfying to see the top leadership of my own country, at long last, join the rest of the developed world in recognizing the importance this issue,” says David Wolfe, professor in the Dept. of Horticulture and the chair of the Climate Change Focus Group at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. “Once the American people roll up their sleeves and get to work on this challenge, we will make things happen that will not only benefit our own economic development and national security, but will mobilize global action for a healthier and more prosperous environment for future generations.”

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