Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

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

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  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • VegEdge Newsletter
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Food Safety

Food SafetyFarm food safety begins with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs): the basic environmental and operational conditions that are necessary for the production of safe fruits and vegetables.

Farmers need to take steps to minimize pathogen contamination during production and harvest of their fresh produce. They should avoid side-dressing with manure, exclude animals near fields, promote proper worker hygiene in the field, test irrigation water quality, select irrigation methods that minimize crop wetting or allows for leaves to dry quickly, clean and sanitize harvest bins, promote cleanliness at U-Pick, and keep produce cool.

As consumers demand safer food, a growing number of retailers are requiring farmers to have independent, 3rd-party inspections of farms, certifying that their fruits and vegetables are being grown, harvested and packaged using Good Agricultural Practices.


Most Recent Food Safety Content

Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: SOPs for Cleaning Other Wash Line Equipment

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 10, 2019
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: SOPs for Cleaning Other Wash Line Equipment

In the wash/pack shed, a variety of large and small equipment can be found. All need cleaning. Here is a group of cleaning SOPs for growers to use as examples for writing their own to meet their specific needs. We also provide instructions for preparing sanitizer solution for a pump sprayer used to clean produce washing equipment.


Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System Checklist

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 18, 2019
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Conveyor Washing System Checklist

As we learn more about reducing microbial risk on the produce farm, more emphasis is being placed on cleaning food contact surfaces. Accessing the hard to reach spaces in wash line equipment is challenging. Most of the equipment was not made to come apart very easily or in an economically efficient manner. The checklist provided here has been developed through hands-on research cleaning equipment as thoroughly as can be measured without doing microbial testing. That level of cleaning is still being researched but, from our work, the level of cleanliness provided here appears to be sufficient.


Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Root Barrel Washer Checklist

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: October 23, 2018
Cleaning Produce Washing Equipment: Root Barrel Washer Checklist

Months of research was conducted on a root barrel washer to determine the best way to clean the equipment given that it was not designed to be easily taken apart and cleaned. Hard-to-reach places were identified through the tracking of vegetable matter and debris dispersed within the barrel washer during use. An acceptable level of cleanliness completed in a reasonable amount of time was identified. The equipment cleanliness was based on visual criteria only; further investigation of the microbial level is still required. To the best of our efforts, areas of critical cleaning are identified in this checklist as well as all other sections necessary to clean.



More Food Safety Content

How to Wash Produce Using a Peracetic Acid (PAA) Solution
Food Safety Plan Template
Set Up an Efficient Wash/Pack Facility
NY Water Testing Labs for Food Safety Use
Cold Storage Chart and Reference Guide to Commercial Vegetable Storage
Crop Cooling and Storage
Material List and Cost Calculator for Building a Wash Table and Aerator
Video: Produce Washing Stations - How to Use a Germicidal Bleach
Cost Calculator: Three Basin Produce Washing
Sanitizer Dose Calculation Spreadsheet
Crop Cooler Storage Planner
Recommendations for Cleaning and Storing Your Harvest Containers and Tools
Video: Farm Food Safety as if Someone's Life Depended On It
Building an Easy Clean Produce Wash Table
Wash Your Greens: A Low-Cost but Effective Washer/Spinner Design
Food Safety Considerations and Design for Packing Sheds
Sample SOPs on Hand Washing and On-Farm Injury
» View Complete List of Food Safety Content
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Upcoming Events

Muck Donut Hour Every Tuesday

July 16, 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 about ONIONS!
view details

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

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 19, 2019
Friday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Himrod, 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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Muck Donut Hour Every Tuesday

July 23, 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! All are welcome to join us!
view details

Announcements

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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