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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 Events

NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting

March 18, 2024
Batavia, NY

Oswego Muck Onion Growers Pre-Season Meeting: Stop the Rot, Nematodes and SLB Fungicide Resistance

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 20, 2024
Phoenix, NY

2024 NYS Dry Bean Meeting and Cutting Event

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 22, 2024
Geneva, NY

2024 DEC Special Permit Handler Training -- Wayne County

April 9, 2024
Newark, NY

2024 DEC Special Permit Handler Training -- Orleans County

April 10, 2024
Albion, 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!


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.

Storage Conditions for Squash

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 13, 2016
Storage Conditions for Squash

From Vegetable MD Online:
A chart of recommended storage conditions for different culinary types and their storage life expectancy.

2015 Pumpkin Variety Trial

Last Modified: March 17, 2016
2015 Pumpkin Variety Trial

In 2015, the CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program evaluated 20 pumpkin varieties including novelty, pie, medium and large Jack-O-Lantern types.   

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.

Decision-Making Guide for Bee Supplementation of Pumpkin Fields

Steve Reiners, Co-Team Leader, Cornell University
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 17, 2013
Decision-Making Guide for Bee Supplementation of Pumpkin Fields

Reliance on wild bees for pumpkin production is potentially risky, but costs of supplementing fields with managed bees is increasingly expensive. Pollination service costs can be reduced by identifying scenarios, based on the background level of wild bees and attributes of the surrounding landscape, where supplementation might not be necessary. This decision-making guide will help determine scenarios where reliance on wild bees will likely provide sufficient pollination of pumpkins.

Early Pumpkin Ripening

Last Modified: August 22, 2012
Early Pumpkin Ripening

Written by Ruth Hazzard, University of Massachusetts

Ideally, pumpkins should be harvested when fully mature, with a deep orange color and hardened rind. However, as long as pumpkins have started to turn color, they will ripen off the vine if held under the proper conditions. While not ideal, this may be preferable to leaving them in the field if conditions are not favorable.

2011 Pumpkin Herbicide Trial

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
2011  Pumpkin Herbicide Trial

The Capital District Vegetable & Small Fruit Program evaluated current herbicides and one un-labeled herbicide for pumpkins. Weed control ratings and the cost associated with each prodcut can be found in the the full pdf. 


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

NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable Meeting

March 18, 2024
Batavia, NY

Processing vegetable industry members who grow, manage, or support crop production for Farm Fresh First/Nortera Foods, Seneca Foods and/or Love Beets, are encouraged to sign-up for the 2024 NYS Processing Vegetable Industry Roundtable! You will:

  • Network at this in-person meeting.
  • Learn the results of industry-funded research.
  • Have a voice in Cornell research and Extension.
  • Earn 3.25 DEC pesticide applicator recertification credits
  • Earn Certified Crop Advisor Credits

Oswego Muck Onion Growers Pre-Season Meeting: Stop the Rot, Nematodes and SLB Fungicide Resistance

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 20, 2024
Phoenix, NY

Christy Hoepting and Frank Hay will get growers ready for the season with updates on managing Stemphylium Leaf Blight fungicide resistance, progress made towards understanding and managing bacterial bulb rot of onion, and results of the 2023 nematode survey and research project. 2.5 DEC recertification credits will be offered in categories 1A, 10 and 23.

2024 NYS Dry Bean Meeting and Cutting Event

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 22, 2024
Geneva, NY

The NYS Dry Bean Meeting will be paired with the annual Dry Bean Cutting Event again this year! The morning meeting will include presentations on the latest dry bean research in New York, with topics including market updates, white mold management, western bean cutworm management, dry bean variety testing, and incorporating NY dry beans into schools. 1.5 DEC credits will be available in categories 10, 1a, 21, 23. CCA credits will be available too.

The Dry Bean Cutting will follow the meeting and showcase the canned dry beans from the 2023 Dry Bean Variety Trial. 

Announcements

Management Practices for High Organic Matter Soils

We are exploring management practices for vegetable farmers with high organic matter soils. These soils are usually found in urban growing areas as urban farmers typically grow in imported soil mixtures that have been constructed over time and in high tunnels where leaching events are limited. In both cases, we see that soil pH and calcium levels can increase due to alkaline irrigation water and with grower inputs such as high levels of compost and/or fertilizer. We commonly see limited plant nutrient uptake due to high soil pH. We have produced four "Management Practices for Urban Soil Health" case studies sharing project updates in our urban cover crop, pH adjustment, and bulk density adjustment work. In each case study, we are looking at the effect of the management practice on soil and crop health. 

Management Practices for Urban Soil Health: Cover Cropping
Management Practices for Urban Soil Health: pH Adjustment
Management Practices for Urban Soil Health: pH Adjustment in NYC
Management Practices for Urban Soil Health: Correcting Nutrient Test Results for Soils with High Organic Matter

2023 Year in Review and 2024 Preview

As the Cornell Vegetable Program reflects on 2023, we want to thank you for your partnership and continued support of our team and the work we do to address issues impacting the commercial vegetable industry in the western and central portion of NYS. Our 2023 Year in Review and 2024 Preview report highlights of some of the many research and outreach programs led by our team members over the last year plus a look ahead to some of our plans for 2024.
  • Use of Ground Barriers as a New Strategy for Swede Midge in Brassicas for Small Organic and Urban Farms
  • Cornell Vegetable Program Responds to Late Blight in 2023
  • Working Groups Help to Improve the Western NY Food System
  • Field Trials Completed to Test Lasers as a Bird Deterrent in Sweet Corn
  • Increased Monitoring of Western Bean Cutworm in Dry Beans
  • Sweet Potato Varieties Suitable for Western NY Production?