Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

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  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds New York State ranks among the top 3 states (Illinois and Pennsylvania are the other two) in pumpkin production in the country with over 5,500 acres of production with an estimated value of $20.5 million each year (2014 Vegetable Summary). Nearly all of these are for fresh market use for either decorating or eating. The pumpkin industry is highly variable with fruit ranging from quarter pound to several hundred pounds each. Pumpkins are grown throughout NYS and are marketed through roadside stands, nursery centers and farmers markets and are also important in areas that have lots of agri-tourism. Included in this group are also other fall ornamentals such as gourds and ornamental squash. Pumpkins are susceptible to many different diseases, the most prevalent of those being Powdery Mildew, Downey Mildew and Phytopthroa blight. In the last eight years, plant breeders and seed companies have released a multitude of varieties resistant to Powdery Mildew and are widely used by growers. Another concern for growers are several different viruses which can cause plants to not produce fruit at all or results in poor fruit quality (size, color etc.). Striped Cucumber Beetles and Squash bugs remain the main insect pests. Aphids are also important because they are the primary vectors of those viruses mentioned above.

Relevant Event

Women in Agriculture Discussion Group: Apples and Vegetables

September 30, 2019
Monday, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Lockport, NY

Most Recent Pumpkins / Gourds Content

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.

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.

Video: Flea Beetles

Last Modified: June 5, 2017
Video: Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are a common vegetable pest affecting peppers, cucurbits, sweet potato, potato, peas, beans, beets, tomato, corn, turnip, pumpkin, melon, eggplant, and others. This short video gives you some general information about this pest.


More Pumpkins / Gourds Content

Storage Conditions for Squash
How to Sign the Waiver for the Indemnified Dual Magnum Label
2015 Pumpkin Variety Trial
Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Cucurbits, 2015
Decision-Making Guide for Bee Supplementation of Pumpkin Fields
Early Pumpkin Ripening
2011 Pumpkin Herbicide Trial
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Upcoming Events

Muck Donut Hour Every Tuesday

June 25, 2019
8:30 - 9:30 AM
Elba, NY

Meet with Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist Christy Hoepting every Tuesday morning to ask questions and share your observations. Grower experience is combined with research and scouting information for a whole lot of talk about growing ONIONS!
view details

Muck Donut Hour Every Tuesday

July 2, 2019
8:30 - 9:30 AM
Elba, NY

Meet with Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist Christy Hoepting every Tuesday morning to ask questions and share your observations. Grower experience is combined with research and scouting information for a whole lot of talk about growing ONIONS!
view details

Vegetable Pest and Cultural Management Field Meeting for Auction Growers (Seneca)

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 3, 2019
Wednesday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Romulus, NY

This course will demonstrate pest management in fresh market vegetables in both field and greenhouse (high tunnel) vegetables, primarily for those growing for wholesale auction. A hands-on demonstration of weed, insect and disease identification in vegetables including management options such as inter-row cover crops, grafting, and where appropriate, spray options will be used to educate growers. Judson Reid, Senior Extension Associate with the CCE Cornell Vegetable Program along with CCE staff will instruct participants and facilitate peer-based learning. Details on each topic will focus on field observations at these farms. 
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Announcements

Welcome Margie Lund: New Vegetable Specialist

The Cornell Vegetable Program is pleased to add Margie Lund to our team of Vegetable Specialists! Margie earned her B.S. from Clemson University in Environmental and Natural Resources and her PhD in Entomology (April '19) in the Vegetable Entomology Laboratory from Michigan State University. During her PhD studies she conducted research on various vegetable crops on cooperating farms, organized extension field days, taught undergraduate lab courses and supervised scouting for invasive pests on sponsored grant research. For the Cornell Vegetable Program, Margie will focus on potatoes, dry beans, post-harvest handling and storage.

NY Crop Insurance Availability by County & Crops

Apiculture, Dairy-RP, LGM, Nursery, PRF and WFRP policies are available throughout the entire state. A table has been developed showing RMA crop insurance availability by county and crop in New York State.

If a crop is not covered in your county, you may still be eligible for a written agreement for that crop. Please contact an insurance agent to see if this is an option for you.

More information about crop insurance is available through Cornell's New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2019 Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production are now available!

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing vegetable crops in New York State. Topics include general culture, nutrient management, transplant production, postharvest handling, organic production, and managing common vegetable crop pest concerns. A preview of the Vegetable Guidelines can be seen online.

Highlighted changes in the 2019 Vegetable Guidelines include:
  • Updated pesticide options for economically important vegetable crop pests.
  • New pests: beet armyworm in beets; cabbage looper and tarnished plant bug in lettuce and endive; allium leafminer in onions; and Cladosporium, Cercospora, and Stemphylium leaf spots in spinach.
Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy ($41), online-only access ($41), or a package combining print and online access ($57.50). Shipping charges will be added to your order. Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through many local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, or from The Cornell Store at Cornell University or call (844) 688-7620.

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