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

Women in Agriculture Discussion Group: Maple and Agroforestry

June 24, 2019
Monday, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Lawtons, NY

Each monthly Women in Ag discussion group meeting will feature an established, innovative Farm-her leading the group on a tour of her operation and sharing her expertise on business management and production. Several guest speakers, as well as Cornell Vegetable Program staff, will be brought in to act as resource people for developing solutions to common production challenges.

The June 24 meeting will cover maple production and putting woodlots to work led by Sharon Bachman, CCE Erie County. The meeting will be hosted by Lynn Gabel (Gabel's Maple Syrup). Lynn will share her experience in event agritourism and marketing value-added products.
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Women in Agriculture Discussion Group: Small Fruit & Vegetable Production plus Insect Control

July 15, 2019
Monday, time TBA
East Aurora, NY

Each monthly Women in Ag discussion group meeting will feature an established, innovative Farm-her leading the group on a tour of her operation and sharing her expertise on business management and production. Several guest speakers, as well as Cornell Vegetable Program staff, will be brought in to act as resource people for developing solutions to common production challenges.

The July 15 meeting will cover vegetable & small fruit production and insect control led by Elizabeth Buck, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, and Abby Seaman, NYS IPM Program. The meeting will be hosted by Gayle and Naomi Thorpe (Thorpe's Organic Family Farm). Gayle and Naomi will share their experiences managing a diversified organic farming operation and family farm transitions.
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Women in Agriculture Discussion Group: Apples and Vegetables

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

Each monthly Women in Ag discussion group meeting will feature an established, innovative Farm-her leading the group on a tour of her operation and sharing her expertise on business management and production. Several guest speakers, as well as Cornell Vegetable Program staff, will be brought in to act as resource people for developing solutions to common production challenges.

The September 30 meeting will cover season extension, managing CSAs and tarping led by Liz Tee, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program, and Elizabeth Buck, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program. The meeting will be hosted by Bree Bacon (McCollum Orchards & Gardens). Bree will share her experience in social media marketing and passive farm income.
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Announcements

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.

Empire State Producers EXPO Proceedings

Proceedings from the Empire State Producers EXPO conference from 2011-2019 are available online.

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