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Cucumbers

Cucumbers In 2014 there were approximately 1,800 acres of cucumbers grown in New York worth $10.1 million (2014 Vegetable Summary). The majority of this production is for fresh consumption, including small scale retail operations, as well as wholesale production to serve larger markets throughout the Northeast U.S. In addition to open field production cucumbers are increasingly grown inside greenhouses and high tunnels. The crop, when unhindered by pests and diseases, can provide high yields within a short harvest window. Cucumber production in New York is increasingly under threat from the foliar disease Downy Mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis). Thus the Cornell Vegetable Program is collaborating with partners to conduct advanced on-farm research to enhance production and marketing of cucumbers, including the development of improved varieties suited for organic agriculture. Stay tuned for more information on this project. In the meantime check out results from our variety trials and grafting work with cucumbers below.

Relevant Events

Chautauqua Winter Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 10, 2023
Clymer, NY

Orleans Regional Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 15, 2023
Albion, NY

NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 15, 2023 : Morning Session: Snap Beans, Sweet Corn, and Peas
Batavia, NY


March 15, 2023 : Lunch Break and Networking


Event Offers DEC Credits

March 15, 2023 : Afternoon Session: Beets and Carrots
Batavia, NY

Video: Farmer Ingenuity - Combining Plastic and Living Mulch

Last Modified: May 2, 2022

In this how-to video, we show how farmers combine plastic and living mulch to reduce weed pressure, improve soil health, and harvest cleaner vegetables. Now that's a win-win-win!


Growing for Wholesale: Grading and Packing Guidelines by Crop

Last Modified: August 29, 2019
Growing for Wholesale: Grading and Packing Guidelines by Crop

Grading and packing guidelines are now available for 18 commonly grown specialty crops in NYS: romaine lettuce, acorn squash, broccoli crowns, Brussels sprouts, sweet corn, green peppers, cucumbers, green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, jalapenos, poblanos, Hungarian hot peppers, summer squash, and zucchini.


Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Last Modified: March 8, 2018
Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Currently, there are 8 produce auctions in New York State. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. To document the economic impact of produce auctions on agriculture, local businesses, family farms, and produce buyers, the Cornell Vegetable Program worked with Harvest New York to survey top sellers and buyers.

A new Cornell Vegetable Program video shares general information about produce auctions, how buyers and sellers use the auctions to expand their businesses, and how local communities benefit from them.


Growing for Wholesale: Vegetable Grading/Sizing Templates

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: February 21, 2018
Growing for Wholesale: Vegetable Grading/Sizing Templates

To further assist farmers looking to sell into the wholesale markets, the Cornell Vegetable Program has put together some helpful tools. The tools provided here consist of a color photo guide highlighting the grades of some of the most common vegetables grown for wholesale market in WNY. To aid in the visualization of the grading sizes, the templates are available here for you to print off. These are scaled to size and can be used to create sizing templates to be used by workers on the wash and pack lines.


Organic Production Guides

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 17, 2017
Organic Production Guides

Organic Production Guides for fruits, vegetables and dairy are available through the NYS Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. They outline general practices for growing vegetable and fruit crops using organic integrated pest management techniques.

Video: Downy Mildew

Last Modified: July 6, 2017
Video: Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is a potentially devastating disease to cucurbits. It usually affects cucumbers and cantaloupes first; later in the season it can be found on summer squash and zucchini. During some seasons, downy mildew can spread to winter squash and watermelons. Growers need to be monitoring their fields. This short video shows the different stages of the disease and possible outcomes if it is not controlled.

2017 Cucurbit Downy Mildew Management Guidelines

Last Modified: July 5, 2017
2017 Cucurbit Downy Mildew Management Guidelines

From Margaret McGrath, Cornell
Producing a high-quality cucurbit crop necessitates effectively managing downy mildew. This foliar disease is common in the northeast because the pathogen produces a large quantity of asexual spores that are easily dispersed long distances by wind, which enables it to spread widely. There has been no evidence that the pathogen is surviving between growing seasons where winter temperatures kill cucurbit crops (outdoors above the 30th latitude); however, recently both mating types have been found, albeit typically on different cucurbit crop types, thus there is the potential for the pathogen to produce oospores (sexual spores) that could enable the pathogen to survive in northern areas of the USA. The downy mildew forecasting program has documented based on downy mildew occurrence movement of the pathogen throughout the eastern USA each year via its wind-dispersed asexual spores. The pathogen does not affect fruit directly; however, affected leaves die prematurely which results in fewer fruit and/or fruit of low quality (poor flavor, sunscald, poor storability).

The most important component of an effective management program for downy mildew is an effective, properly-timed fungicide program. And the key to that is applying mobile fungicides targeted to the pathogen starting when there is a risk of the pathogen being present. Mobile (or translaminar) fungicides are needed for control on the underside of leaves. Each year there often are changes to the fungicides recommended as the pathogen develops resistance or new products are registered. Because these fungicides have targeted activity, additional fungicides must be added to the program when there is a need to manage other diseases such as powdery mildew. Most targeted fungicides effective for downy mildew are also effective for Phytophthora blight.

Cold Storage Chart and Reference Guide to Commercial Vegetable Storage

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 13, 2016
Cold Storage Chart and Reference Guide to Commercial Vegetable Storage

Commercial vegetable growers will find a Cold Storage Chart by crop type with temperature and relative humidity recommendations. The maximum number of weeks that the crop can be held under ideal conditions is provided as well.

Adapted from the USDA Bulletin #66, The Commercial Storage of Fruits, Vegetables, and Florist and Nursery Stock, growers will find information on quality, grading, sizes, and packaging, chilling and storage, and post-harvest pathology of vegetables.


Video: Produce Washing Stations - How to Use a Germicidal Bleach

Last Modified: January 26, 2016
Video: Produce Washing Stations - How to Use a Germicidal Bleach

Good Agricultural Practices or GAPs are the steps taken in produce packing areas to reduce microbial contamination. One area where reducing micro contamination is critical is in the washing and cleaning of produce. This video shows you a set of standard operating procedures for using a germicidal bleach in a produce washing station. Learn what supplies are required and how to calculate the amount of germicidal bleach needed to sanitize the water.


Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: December 2, 2015
Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Cucumbers are an excellent high tunnel crop for spring, summer and fall production in New York State. Grown vertically, cucumbers take advantage of the space and light offered by a high tunnel. Cucumbers grown in this environment are of higher quality with higher yields. Very fast growing and yielding, they fit into crop plans that include winter greens easier than tomatoes, peppers or eggplants. 

Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Cucurbits, 2015

Darcy Telenko, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 9, 2015
Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Cucurbits, 2015

This reference sheet lists the herbicides that are labeled for cucurbits in New York and which species are controlled, as well as other important considerations and photos of weeds. While this is a handy references, it is critical to read the product labels thoroughly.

Video: Farm Food Safety as if Someone's Life Depended On It

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 3, 2015
Video: Farm Food Safety as if Someone's Life Depended On It

This video is an overview of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) through on-farm risk assessment. Cornell Cooperative Extension, along with the National GAPs Program and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, has developed and implemented a nationally-recognized training program in GAPs to prepare New York growers for the marketplace's increased vigilance in food safety. You can learn more about that program through this video, as well as updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and economic information on the implementation of GAPs collected from growers through extensive interviews.


Responding to Hailstorms

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
Responding to Hailstorms

While no one wants to think about the possibility of hail hitting their beautiful crops just as they start to respond to the heat and take off, the likelihood that we will see more hail seems pretty high. So let's talk about it.

High Tunnel Cucumber Trial, 2012

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 7, 2013
High Tunnel Cucumber Trial, 2012

Greenhouse cucumbers, if marketed successfully, can be a high revenue crop in tunnels. Advantages include high quality fruit, decreased downy mildew, and quicker yields than tomatoes. Disadvantages include powdery mildew, spider mites, and higher labor than tomatoes. The Cornell Vegetable Program worked with several seed companies to conduct a variety trial of high tunnel cucumbers in 2012.

Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

The unheated greenhouse, or high tunnel, offers a vertical production environment suitable for crops such as indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers. As it is a soil based system however, and passively heated, greenhouse cucumbers must be transplanted later in the spring than tomatoes, due to their intolerance for low root zone temperatures. However, cucumbers can provide good returns when grown in a high tunnel, given consistent pest control and matching variety performance with market demand. A variety trial of four greenhouse cucumbers was established in a cooperating high tunnel in the spring of 2011.

Buckwheat Strips as an Attractant of Pollinators for Vine Crops

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 12, 2012
Buckwheat Strips as an Attractant of Pollinators for Vine Crops

Download a report on using buckwheat strips to attract native pollinators to vine crops (2008). This project was funded by the Organic Farming Research Federation.

Grafting Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 25, 2011
Grafting Cucumbers in High Tunnels

Soil based greenhouse and high tunnel production of vegetables has risen dramatically in New York recently. This season extension technology offers farmers an opportunity to target market price peaks and capitalize on rising demand for locally grown produce. Considerable attention has been given, justifiably, to tomatoes in these settings. Trials by the Cornell Vegetable Program confirm that cucumbers can also be grown at a profit in tunnels.

As production continues in the same soil beds, risk of root-zone diseases and soil nutrient deficiencies increase. Grafting, the combination of two separate cultivars into one plant, could be a solution to these challenges. Evaluations of grafted tomato by the Cornell Vegetable Program revealed several advantages. This project endeavored to graft cucumbers onto a fig leaf gourd (Cucurbita ficifolia) for increased yields and cold hardiness.


more crops
Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

Chautauqua Winter Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 10, 2023
Clymer, NY

Meeting will feature growers from Ohio sharing their production know-how and thoughts on food safety. Other topics include weed control, pesticide safety, and the impact of poor crop nutrition. 0.75 DEC credits in 1a, 23 plus 0.5 in CORE, which is good for all categories. Trade show booths available. 

Meeting cost is $20/person, includes snacks and educational materials. Registration required by 4 pm on Friday, February 3. 

Orleans Regional Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 15, 2023
Albion, NY

Offering presentations in pesticide safety, tips for managing diseases in vegetable crops, how to attract beneficial insects to your field, herbicide options for cole crops, and strawberry disease information. Meeting cost is $10 per person, payable at the door via cash or check. Pre-registration requested by 5:00 pm on Monday, February 13.

DEC credits available: 2.25 in 1a and 10; 2.0 in 23; 1.5 in 22; and 0.5 in CORE (used in all categories)!!

NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 15, 2023 : Morning Session: Snap Beans, Sweet Corn, and Peas
Batavia, NY

Processing vegetable industry members who grow, manage, or support snap bean, sweet corn, or pea production for Nortera and/or Seneca Foods, should attend this session of the roundtable meeting. You will:

  • Network at this in-person meeting.
  • Learn the results of industry-funded research.
  • Have a voice in Cornell research and extension.
  • Earn 2.0 DEC credits in categories 1a, 10, 23 and CCA recertification credits.

This FREE event is followed by lunch! Pre-registration requested.


March 15, 2023 : Lunch Break and Networking

Lunch is FREE to anyone attending either the Morning Session or the Afternoon Session of the NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting. Registration is required.


Event Offers DEC Credits

March 15, 2023 : Afternoon Session: Beets and Carrots
Batavia, NY

Processing vegetable industry members who grow, manage, or support beet or carrot production for Nortera, Seneca Foods and/or Love Beets, should attend this session of the roundtable meeting. You will:

  • Network at this in-person meeting.
  • Learn the results of industry-funded research.
  • Have a voice in Cornell research and extension.
  • Earn 2.0 DEC credits in categories 1a, 10, 23 and CCA recertification credits.

Lunch is provided before this session. It's FREE! Pre-registration requested. 

Announcements

2022 Year in Review Released

Our 2022 Year in Review report highlights some of our 2022 projects and community outreach efforts impacting commercial vegetable, greenhouse, potato, and dry bean producers in 14 counties of western and central New York, and beyond.
  • Education and Technical Assistance Provided to Providence Farm Collective
  • Engineering Improvements in Biodegradable Mulch
  • Perseverance Leads to Solution for Perennial Sowthistle in Onion
  • Potato Programming Spans Farms of All Sizes
  • Improving Winter High Tunnel Soil Nitrogen Management
  • Laser Scarecrows Tested on Local Farms
  • New York Vegetable Industry Support
Cornell Cooperative Extension is Your Trusted Source for Research-Based Knowledge!

Small-Scale Fresh Mkt Potato Variety Trial Results

This year, the Cornell Vegetable Program planted a potato variety trial focused on commercially available fresh market potato varieties, with the small-scale potato grower in mind. This trial allowed us to test different varieties of potatoes that might be of interest to consumers at farm markets and see how well they perform in a western NY climate. 

We've posted a brief overview of our results on the Potato page.

If you would like the full report (PDF with photos and yield data) emailed to you, email Margie Lund.

New Ag Climate Factsheet Released

The intersection of agricultural production and greenhouse gases is gathering increasing attention. This is an opportune time to consider how vegetable production interacts with carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and how using cover crops may alter this picture.

The factsheet, Greenhouse Gases and Soil Organic Carbon in Vegetable Production and the Role of Cover Crops, written by Zach Spangler, Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist with CCE Harvest NY, and Elizabeth Buck, Fresh Market Vegetable Specialist, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses:
  • Sequestration of atmospheric carbon in agricultural soils as soil organic carbon (SOC). Is vegetable production impacting SOC?
  • Net greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) from the soil.
  • Impact of cover crops on soil organic carbon, nitrous oxide emissions, and other GHG emissions.