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  • Cultural Practices

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Organic

CVP Organic

According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY (NOFA-NY), organic farming "seeks to maintain and improve the productivity of the land by encouraging and enhancing natural biological processes. Organic farmers nurture healthy plants by working to create a foundation of healthy soil. Great attention is paid to nurturing the soil with composts, cover crops, rock minerals and natural fertilizers. Plant disease and pests are controlled through the use of crop rotations, resistant varieties, cultivation, biological pest controls and botanical controls. The use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides are prohibited in certified organic production."

The number of organic farmers in NYS continues to increase, driven in part by the increasing demand from consumers for produce that is free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The Cornell Vegetable Program has been working with organic farmers to determine their needs and offer alternatives to conventional production methods.




Eastern Organic Broccoli Webinar Recording

Last Modified: January 23, 2019
Eastern Organic Broccoli Webinar Recording

In this webinar, The Eastern Broccoli Project presents information of value to those raising Organic broccoli in the Eastern US.  

  • Organic nutrition for a nitrogen-hungry crop
  • Weed management in high fertility and short season
  • Insect management amid many hungry pests
  • Varieties suitable for organic production in the East
  • The market for organic broccoli

Hot Water Seed Treatment Using a Sous Vide Device

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 14, 2019
Hot Water Seed Treatment Using a Sous Vide Device

Learn to use a sous vide device to heat treat seeds as a simple, economical way to control diseases.


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.

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.

Nitrogen Fertility Options for Organic High Tunnels

Cordelia Machanoff, Program Aide
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 25, 2017
Nitrogen Fertility Options for Organic High Tunnels

Several years of foliar sampling in high tunnel tomatoes throughout NYS has shown that organic high tunnel tomatoes generally start out with sufficient or even excess nitrogen, but go into a mid-season dive in foliar nitrogen levels. Given the longer season and higher yields of tunnel tomatoes, a nitrogen fertilizer to inject or side-dress will help prevent mid-season deficiencies.

Garlic Production in the Northeast (from NOFA NY's Winter Conference, 2015)

Last Modified: April 7, 2016
Garlic Production in the Northeast (from NOFA NY's Winter Conference, 2015)

WNY garlic farmer Ed Fraser of Fraser's Garlic Farm and Cornell Cooperative Extension's Crystal Stewart presented at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference. Their presentation titled, Intermediate Garlic Production, focused on more advanced techniques to deliver a consistently high-quality garlic crop, including cover cropping plans, fertility management, weed control techniques, post-harvest handling, and seed selection. Information was based on research results, on-farm trials and experience.

Winter Aphid Management Fact Sheet

Cordelia Machanoff, Program Aide
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 8, 2014
Winter Aphid Management Fact Sheet

Aphids can be a major problem in winter greens. This fact sheet outlines our experience with biological and biorational controls over four years of field research.

Grafting Tomatoes Video: The Motivation and Benefits of Grafting

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: October 16, 2013
Grafting Tomatoes Video: The Motivation and Benefits of Grafting

As soil based production of tomatoes continues in tunnels and greenhouses, risk of root-zone diseases, insects and nutrient imbalances increase. Grafting, the combination of two separate cultivars into one plant, is one management approach to these challenges. Learn more about the motivations and benefits of grafting tomatoes in this video of Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program.

How to Graft Tomatoes: An Instructional Video and Factsheet

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: October 16, 2013
How to Graft Tomatoes: An Instructional Video and Factsheet

Grafting can significantly increase tomato yields and increase plant resistance to soil-borne diseases. Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist with the Cornell Vegetable Program has developed a step-by-step tutorial for growers on how to graft tomatoes. 

Copper Fungicides for Organic Disease Management in Vegetables

Last Modified: September 16, 2013
Copper Fungicides for Organic Disease Management in Vegetables

There are several different copper fungicides approved for use in organically-produced crops. Copper fungicides are important tools for managing diseases that cannot be effectively managed with cultural practices alone.

How Copper Sprays Work and Avoiding Phytotoxicity

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
How Copper Sprays Work and Avoiding Phytotoxicity

Copper has been widely used in both conventional and organic production for some time. Copper was one of the first elements used as a plant fungicide (the other was Sulfur). Its discovery can be traced back to the famous origin of Bordeaux mixture, containing a mixture of copper sulfate (CuSO4) and slaked lime, and used for downy mildew control in French vineyards. 

SARE Cover Crop Topic Room: Current Research from Across the Nation

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 7, 2013
SARE Cover Crop Topic Room: Current Research from Across the Nation

A section of the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) website, the cover crop topic room provides educational materials developed from cover crop research. Topics include selection and management, economics, establishment, rotations, soil and fertility management, water management, pest management, and no-till.

Leek Moth Control and Information

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 24, 2012
Leek Moth Control and Information

Leek Moth was detected in four home gardens in Plattsburg, NY in 2009. It was first detected in Ontario, Canada in 1997 where it has become problematic especially to small-scale, organic growers in eastern Ontario and to commercial producers in western Quebec, who have limited insecticides available to them.

Leek Moth continues its spread to more farms and gardens across the U.S., a new comprehensive website is available to aid in the identification and management of this pest. This Cornell website features maps of the distribution of leek moth, protocols on insect monitoring and identification, best management practices for farms and home gardens, a photo gallery of damage symptoms and a comprehensive resource section.

Visit the Leek Moth website.


Spring Garlic Recommendations

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

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Spring Garlic Recommendations

Garlic fertility and weed control recommendations for March through May.

Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 1, 2012
Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management

Organic farmers rely primarily on preventive, cultural and integrated methods of pest and disease management. However, there are a number of materials available for use that can complement and support organic management. This guide was developed to provide a useful and scientifically accurate reference for organic farmers and agricultural professionals searching for information on best practices, available materials and perhaps most importantly, the efficacy of materials that are permitted for use in organic systems.


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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

Cattaraugus Fresh Market Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 29, 2022
East Otto, NY

This produce walk will feature peer-to-peer learning. All attendees should wear long pants. Free to attend. 2.0 DEC credits in categories 1a, 10, and 23.

view details

Orleans Fresh Market Vegetable Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 6, 2022
Albion, NY

This produce walk will feature peer-to-peer learning. All attendees should wear long pants. Free to attend. 2.0 DEC credits requested in categories 1a and 23.

view details

Chautauqua Vegetable Grower Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 12, 2022
Frewsburg, NY

This meeting will feature a fresh market field walk to facilitate grower-to-grower learning. All attendees should wear long pants. Free to attend. 2.0 DEC credits requested in categories 1a and 23. 

view details

Announcements

Lorsban is Banned: What Now?

Cabbage maggot (CM) feeds on brassica seedlings by tunneling into the stem of the plant just below the soil line. Their feeding can result in unsightly and unmarketable produce in the case of root brassicas like turnips, and in stunting, reduced stand, and reduced yield in head and stem brassicas like cabbage and broccoli. Lorsban and other formulations containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos were the first line of defense for control of cabbage maggot in several brassica crops, because 1) at ~$10 per acre, it was affordable, and 2) it was easy to apply and avoided worker exposure as a directed spray at the base of the plant.

Unfortunately, Lorsban and all of its generic products for food and feed uses were banned in New York as of July 31, 2021, and in the United States as of February 28, 2022. In the absence of Lorsban and other chlorpyrifos-containing insecticides, NY brassica growers have 6 products belonging to 4 chemical classes available to manage cabbage maggot. This article, Lorsban is Banned: How to Control Cabbage Maggot in Brassicas Now?, written by Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist Christy Hoepting and Brian Nault of Cornell AgriTech, provides our "2022 Top Picks" to use instead of Lorsban plus results of Cornell research trial results related to application method, rate, and cabbage maggot control.


Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

The production of strawberry plants is challenging due to the rigorous sanitation needs that must be met, especially in field propagation settings, but also in greenhouse settings. To add to that, growers in New York may find it more difficult to obtain their preferred strawberry varieties in the coming years, as fewer nurseries are propagating strawberries. The solution: strawberry plug plants propagated from runners in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or high tunnel.

Plug production of rarer varieties that do well in New York State will fetch a higher price than dormant bare-root plants due to the higher cost of production and lower availability in the Northeast, especially if plants are available in August. Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners, written by Anya Osatuke of CCE Harvest NY and Brad Bergefurd of The Ohio State University, only discusses production and marketing potential of plug plants because successful field production of bare-root strawberries is very difficult to achieve without the use of highly restricted soil fumigants. 



Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2022 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.

Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy ($43.50), online-only access ($43.50), or a package combining print and online access ($61.00). Shipping charges will be added to your order. Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through many local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices (call to confirm availability), or from The Cornell Store at Cornell University or call (844) 688-7620.


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