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Pests

PestsNumerous pests affect commercial vegetable production in New York. All stages of plant growth may be susceptible to insects or disease causing pathogens which may result in poor seedling emergence, reduced yields and quality issues. Similarly, weeds compete with vegetable crops for light, nutrients and water often reducing yields. Weeds can also act as a reservoir for insects and diseases. Furthermore, weed seeds and other parts can be a contaminant of certain vegetable crops.

Cornell Vegetable Program Specialists conduct research and educational programs on many important insects, diseases and weeds in New York. While not an exhaustive list, current information on many important vegetable pests can be found below. The most recent pest content is listed below but you can find more pests under the pest categories of Diseases, Insects, and Weeds.

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How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics

Elizabeth Buck, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 14, 2020
How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics

Capturing diagnostically useful images is not as simple as snapping a picture of cute children or animals.

With the current push to work remotely, using pictures to quickly address production questions has a lot of appeal and utility. I love the idea of using grower-captured photos to hasten the trouble-shooting process, especially since it isn't always possible to make prompt farm visits. But in practice it can be quite tough to work out a problem using photos because of poor image quality. High quality diagnostic photos absolutely can allow us (and other ag professionals) to make pretty confident IDs and assessments of what is going wrong. 


Late Blight Sample Collection and Submission to Cornell

Margie Lund, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 4, 2020
Late Blight Sample Collection and Submission to Cornell

If late blight is detected or suspected on your farm, and you cannot get a sample to a Cornell Vegetable Program staff member in a day or two, you should submit your sample to Chris Smart's lab at Cornell. Instructions for reporting and sampling are provided.


Guidelines for 2019 Onion Thrips Management in Onion

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 17, 2019
Guidelines for 2019 Onion Thrips Management in Onion

New York has a variety of registered insecticide products that can successfully control onion thrips. This flowchart provides several different insecticide sequence options for controlling onion thrips in 2019.


Cornell Onion Fungicide "Cheat Sheet" for Leaf Diseases, 2019

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 10, 2019
Cornell Onion Fungicide "Cheat Sheet" for Leaf Diseases, 2019

This chart provides information on fungicides available for use in New York in 2019 in onions for control of leaf diseases including Botrytis Leaf Blight (BLB), Stemphylium Leaf Blight (SLB), and Downy Mildew (DM). Rotation restrictions and maximum allowable per season are provided. 


2019 Pea Herbicide Chart

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 14, 2019
2019 Pea Herbicide Chart

A chart is presented that lists the herbicides labelled for use on succulent peas in New York for the year 2019. The relative effectiveness of each herbicide on different weed species is highlighted.


2019 Garlic School: Fusarium Management, Eriophyid Mite Trial, Bloat Nematode

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 11, 2019
2019 Garlic School: Fusarium Management, Eriophyid Mite Trial, Bloat Nematode

The 2019 Garlic School featured final results from a 2-year study which focused on understanding and managing Fusarium disease of garlic. CVP Specialists, Christy Hoepting and Robert Hadad participated in this project, along with Dr. Frank Hay, Plant Pathologist at AgriTech, and CCE Vegetable Specialists, Crystal Stewart (ENYCHP) and Sandy Menasha (CCE Suffolk Co.). Presentations from the meeting are now available!


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.


Video and Final Report: Managing Wildlife Damage in Sweet Corn

Last Modified: July 19, 2018
Video and Final Report: Managing Wildlife Damage in Sweet Corn

Learn more about the on-farm evaluations of new tools -- chemical control, air dancers, scare-eye balloons, and detasseling -- for managing bird damage in sweet corn fields conducted by the CCE Cornell Vegetable Program in 2017 in this video and newly released final report.


Be on the Lookout for Southern Blight

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 27, 2018

Southern Blight (Sclerotium rolfsii) was found on golden storage beets this winter in Dutchess County. The fungal pathogen is fairly new to New York and poses a threat to a wide range of vegetable crops. Early detection and proper diagnosis are key to managing this disease.


Video: Downy Mildew

Last Modified: July 6, 2017
Video: Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is a potentially devastating disease to cucurbits. It usually affects cucumbers and cantaloupes first; later in the season it can be found on summer squash and zucchini. During some seasons, downy mildew can spread to winter squash and watermelons. Growers need to be monitoring their fields. This short video shows the different stages of the disease and possible outcomes if it is not controlled.

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: Swede Midge

Last Modified: June 12, 2017
Video: Swede Midge

Swede midge is an invasive insect pest that is threatening the viability of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and turnip production within the Cornell Vegetable Program region and throughout the Northeastern US. This short video will provide you with some general information about this pest and how to scout for it in your Brassicas.

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.

White Rot Fact Sheet for Garlic

Last Modified: August 31, 2016
White Rot Fact Sheet for Garlic

White rot is a worldwide problem in allium production, and has resurfaced in the New York garlic industry after a long period of eradication. Positive samples were collected in 2016 from the Hudson Valley, Central and Western New York, indicating that the disease is widespread. As with other soilborne diseases, white rot can be persistent and devastating. However, careful management can reduce inoculum, and because the disease is spread by seed and soil, it is also possible to prevent its spread into uninfested fields. 

Northern Corn Leaf Blight in Sweet Corn

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: August 8, 2016
Northern Corn Leaf Blight in Sweet Corn

Over the past 5 years, Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) has become a common occurrence in field and sweet corn in New York State. Researchers at Cornell University are working to determine why this disease has become more prevalent. Current hypotheses include: 1) new races of the fungus, 2) new corn hybrids may be more susceptible, 3) weather patterns that favor disease, and 4) changes in the larger cropping picture. There may be a sort of an "arms race" between new races of the fungus and new corn hybrids. Western NY has seen an increase in field corn being grown and increased disease in field corn creates additional inoculum for sweet corn in the region. If NCLB becomes severe, yields may be reduced. Fresh market sweet corn growers may also be concerned with lesions that appear on the husks, as the corn may be less marketable.

2015 Herbicides for Weed Control in Snap and Dry Beans

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 29, 2016
2015 Herbicides for Weed Control in Snap and Dry Beans

Have you had problem weeds slipping through your snap or dry bean weed control program? Have lambsquarters, ragweed, hairy or Eastern black nightshade, nutsedge, etc, been. escaping? Have you tried any of the newer materials or expanded application timings to try to improve your results? The 2015 update to the Herbicide for Snap and Dry Bean Weed Control chart will help you choose the best herbicide programs for your fields.

2016 Beet Herbicide Chart

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 1, 2016
2016 Beet Herbicide Chart

This chart created in cooperation with Dr. Robin Bellinder, weed scientist at Cornell, lists the herbicides that are labeled for beets and which weed species are controlled. While the chart is a handy reference, it is critical to read the product labels thoroughly.

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.

Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Peppers, 2015

Darcy Telenko, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 1, 2015
Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Peppers, 2015

This reference sheet lists the herbicides that are labeled for peppers 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.

Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Sweet Corn, 2015

Darcy Telenko, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 1, 2015
Guideline Tools: Weed Management in Sweet Corn, 2015

This reference sheet lists the herbicides that are labeled for sweet corn 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.

2015 Carrot Herbicide Chart

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 1, 2015
2015 Carrot Herbicide Chart

This chart was created in cooperation with Dr. Robin Bellinder, weed scientist at Cornell, lists the herbicides that are labeled for carrots and which weed species are controlled. While the chart is a handy reference, it is critical to read the product labels thoroughly.

2015 Lima Bean Herbicide Chart

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 1, 2015
2015 Lima Bean Herbicide Chart

Baby lima beans for processing are a new crop in New York. As growers prepare to plant, they must understand the differences in herbicides for this crop compared to snap beans and dry beans. Lima beans react to some herbicides differently because they are the species Phaseolus lunatus as compared to common beans which are P. vulgaris.

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.

Minimizing Deer Damage in Vegetable Crops

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 15, 2014
Minimizing Deer Damage in Vegetable Crops

A comprehensive plan is needed to manage deer on your farm. Understanding the biology, habitat and feeding habits is a good first step. Your management plan will depend on the size of the farm or field you wish to protect, your location, tolerance for damage and the resources you have to direct towards this project.

Deer management fact sheets and options are provided.  

Control of Colorado Potato Beetle & Insecticide Resistance Management

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 9, 2014
Control of Colorado Potato Beetle & Insecticide Resistance Management

The CPB is known for its ability to quickly develop resistance to insecticides. There are alternatives to insecticides for managing CPB, but for growers with large fields and a limited ability to rotate fields, insecticides remain key.

Fall Chemical Burn Down of Perennial Sow Thistle in Onions, 2013 Trial Results

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 25, 2014
Fall Chemical Burn Down of Perennial Sow Thistle in Onions, 2013 Trial Results

Perennial sow thistle has increased in economic importance and has become a serious weed problem for muck onion growers in the Western region on New York. In this project, we investigated fall chemical burn down strategies to manage this weed, as well as the use of a synthetic auxin growth regulator type herbicide, trade name Stinger to manage this weed in-season within an onion crop. Crop tolerance to Stinger was also studied. 

Following is the first of three reports from 2013 Trials: Report No. 1. Simulated Fall Chemical Burn Down of Perennial Sow Thistle

In-Season Management of Perennial Sow Thistle in Onions, 2013 Trial Results

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 25, 2014
In-Season Management of Perennial Sow Thistle in Onions, 2013 Trial Results

Perennial sow thistle has increased in economic importance and has become a serious weed problem for muck onion growers in the Western region on New York. In this project, we investigated fall chemical burn down strategies to manage this weed, as well as the use of a synthetic auxin growth regulator type herbicide, trade name Stinger to manage this weed in-season within an onion crop. Crop tolerance to Stinger was also studied.

Following is the FINAL report and the first of 3 complimentary power point presentation files.

In-Season Management of Perennial Sow Thistle, 2013 Results (Part II)

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 25, 2014
In-Season Management of Perennial Sow Thistle, 2013 Results (Part II)

Perennial sow thistle has increased in economic importance and has become a serious weed problem for muck onion growers in the Western region on New York. In this project, we investigated fall chemical burn down strategies to manage this weed, as well as the use of a synthetic auxin growth regulator type herbicide, trade name Stinger to manage this weed in-season within an onion crop. Crop tolerance to Stinger was also studied.

Following are the second and third parts of the complimentary power point presentation.

Onion Crop Tolerance to Stinger (a.i. clopyralid)

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 25, 2014
Onion Crop Tolerance to Stinger (a.i. clopyralid)

Perennial sow thistle has increased in economic importance and has become a serious weed problem for muck onion growers in the Western region on New York. In this project, we investigated fall chemical burn down strategies to manage this weed, as well as the use of a synthetic auxin growth regulator type herbicide, trade name Stinger to manage this weed in-season within an onion crop. Crop tolerance to Stinger was also studied.

Following is the final report:
Report No. 3: Onion Crop Tolerance to Stinger (a.i. clopyralid)

Feasibility of Reducing Slug Damage in Cabbage

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 17, 2014
Feasibility of Reducing Slug Damage in Cabbage

Slugs are an increasing threat to cabbage production: The board of the New York Cabbage Research and Development Program made slug control one of their highest research priorities for the first time in 2009. Slugs are considered a sporadic pest in cabbage and are favored by cool and moist conditions, especially where crop residues are left on the soil surface. In conventional production of cabbage, slugs tend to be a problem later in the growing season along tree lines and hedgerows and in weedy patches within the field. Slugs leave large holes in the leaves with the veins intact, and can be a contaminant in the heads when they squeeze between the leaves. During the cool wet growing season of 2009, slug contaminants were the cause of several rejected loads of cabbage in New York. It is predicted that the frequency of slug problems in cabbage will increase, because more cabbage is being grown in rotation following field corn. The newer varieties of field corn are Bt-tolerant and have tougher stalks that take longer to break down, thus, these fields have more crop residue and are more favorable for slugs. It is worthwhile to investigate whether there are cost effective means for growers to manage sporadic infestations of slugs in cabbage.

View the exciting results from our 2010 trial in the final report that follows.


Diagnosis and Management of Potato Tuber Diseases

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 19, 2013
Diagnosis and Management of Potato Tuber Diseases

A seven page color fact sheet on the Diagnosis and Management of Potato Storage Diseases is now available online from the University of Idaho. The diseases covered are those which NYS potato growers often find themselves dealing with: pink rot, Pythium leak, late blight, Fusarium dry rot, bacterial soft rot, silver scurf, black dot, and early blight. In addition to assisting with the proper identification of the diseases, there is information on sanitation of equipment and the storage, and recommendations on how to hold lots with some disease if you can't sell them immediately. 

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. 

Determining Late Blight Sensitivity to Ridomil Takes Time

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 19, 2013
Determining Late Blight Sensitivity to Ridomil Takes Time

The % LB diseased foliage in a field significantly affects how well any fungicide works against it. On September 16, 2013, Bill Fry, Cornell said, "Years ago we did experiments on the effect of timing of Ridomil on the suppression of LB [on a sensitive LB strain]. The treatments included metalaxyl/Ridomil, mancozeb, or no fungicide. We initiated applications at ~0.5% disease or at 2-5% diseased [foliage]. The effects of Ridomil were apparent within a day or two, but the effects of mancozeb were not visible for at least one week. LB increased explosively in the mancozeb and untreated plots for the first week. Subsequently, mancozeb did slightly suppress disease relative to the water control. The effect of Ridomil was dramatically different with an immediate observable effect in [reducing disease development]. Nonetheless, the amount of disease in the Ridomil plots continued to increase gradually for the next four weeks. When we initiated Ridomil applications at 0.5% disease the final level of disease was less, and the rate at which disease increased was less, than when we began at 2-5% diseased foliage. There was inoculum from other plots that probably contributed to increased LB. Thus, once disease is established, it's really difficult to totally stop this pathogen. I suspect that given the wet weather and favorable conditions we've had recently, any fungicide may have been challenged."

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.

Application Equipment for Potato Post-Harvest Disease Control

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 13, 2013
Application Equipment for Potato Post-Harvest Disease Control

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, and pink rot, caused by Phytophthora erythroseptica Pethybr., are two devastating potato tuber diseases. These pathogens regularly cause storage losses in potato production systems. While these pathogens, especially P. infestans, spread rapidly in the field, there can also be substantial tuber-to-tuber spread during mechanical harvesting and tuber transfer procedures. With these diseases present in the field, storage losses well beyond what would be expected can occur based on the pathogen level in the field. Learn more about how to control diseases following potato harvest in this University of Maine Extension publication.

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. 

Identifying Ground Beetles

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
Identifying Ground Beetles

It's an easy error to make. You notice some plants being chewed. You look around for clues and spot a good sized hole in the soil nearby. If you poke around in the soil you may unearth a surprisingly large, aggressive-looking beetle and it's easy to conclude that you've found your culprit. But you would be wrong.

Spinich Leafminer- Identification and Management

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
Spinich Leafminer- Identification and Management

The spinach leafminer (Pegomya hyoscyami) is a common pest that causes unsightly leaf blisters and necrosis of spinach, beets, chards and host weeds like lambsquaters, nightshade, chickweed and plantain. Marketability of the leaf crops is significantly impacted. This is the case for beet greens and bunched beets.

Zero Disease Tolerance in High Tunnels

Last Modified: January 10, 2013
Zero Disease Tolerance in High Tunnels

Printed in American Vegetable Grower, October 5, 2012:
Keeping crops free of disease is the goal of all growers, including those producing in high tunnels. Download the PDF file to learn about 20 practices that will reduce the chances of pathogens taking over when growing under cover.

Exploring the Relationship Between Nitrogen, Plant Spacing and Bacterial Disease

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 8, 2013
Exploring the Relationship Between Nitrogen, Plant Spacing and Bacterial Disease

It is important to emphasize that "exploring" is in the present tense. In New York, we are just beginning to delve into the fascinating relationship between nitrogen, plant spacing and bacterial diseases of onions. Our preliminary results suggest that reduced soil nitrogen and tighter plant spacing results in less bacterial decay. In this article, we report preliminary findings from exploratory studies and the observations that lead to these trials. We stress that we are not making recommendations at this time. However, we are hopeful that further studies will lead to specific recommendations.

Spotted Wing Drosophila in Tomatoes

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 13, 2012
Spotted Wing Drosophila in Tomatoes

Although this new pest in gaining attention from berry growers, it is also a threat to tomatoes.  Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) lays eggs in ripe or maturing fruit with a rear-end that favors a miniature hack-saw. The eggs, which have creepy breathing tubes, hatch out into nasty worms that feed inside the fruit creating a liquefied mass. Reports on tomatoes mention organic, heirloom and high tunnel crops. A common theme to these observations is that insecticides are generally absent. SWD has been reported in 2012 throughout the state, so far in traps and fruit plantings (see map courtesy of Hudson Valley Fruit Program). Likely there are unreported cases of infested tomatoes. 

O-zone Injury on Vegetables

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

Last Modified: August 22, 2012
O-zone Injury on Vegetables

Hot, humid weather with stagnant air masses may lead to ozone damage on crops. Ozone warnings were recently issued for much of New York. These warnings are intended for people with respiratory problems and let them know they should limit their outdoor activity and try to stay as much as possible in air-conditioned locations. These warning are also a good indicator that ozone damage may occur in plants.

Managing Weeds in Carrot Fields

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 21, 2012
Managing Weeds in Carrot Fields

Tips on how to manage weeds in carrots, including special problems like swamp dodder


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.


Seed Treatments for Onion Maggot Control in Onions

Last Modified: May 24, 2012
Seed Treatments for Onion Maggot Control in Onions

New York onion growers FINALLY have not one, but TWO new seed treatment options for control of onion maggot. Sepresto® was first introduced for the 2011 growing season, but is available only on Nunhem's onion varieties. Also available for the 2012 growing season on all onion varieties is Farmore® FI500. Both of these insecticide seed treatments are only available in packages that also include fungicides. Altogether, NY onion growers now have FIVE insecticides (counting diazinon), labeled for onion maggot control. Of these, 3 are seed treatments; decisions for which one to use must be made when seed orders are placed. In making these decisions, it is important to know the relative efficacy of the insecticides, what diseases the fungicides in the seed treatment packages control and how to extend the useful life of these precious new insecticides. The information that follows addresses these questions and should assist you in making a decision on how to control maggots as well as early season seedling diseases.

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. 

Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Greenhouse Cucumber Variety Trial (2011)

The unheated greenhouse, or high tunnel, offers a vertical production environment suitable for crops such as indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers. As it is a soil based system however, and passively heated, greenhouse cucumbers must be transplanted later in the spring than tomatoes, due to their intolerance for low root zone temperatures. However, cucumbers can provide good returns when grown in a high tunnel, given consistent pest control and matching variety performance with market demand. A variety trial of four greenhouse cucumbers was established in a cooperating high tunnel in the spring of 2011.

High Tunnel Tomato Trial 2011 (determinate varieties)

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
High Tunnel Tomato Trial 2011 (determinate varieties)

High tunnel tomatoes continue to grow in popularity with New York vegetable growers for disease control, earliness and fruit quality. Variety selection is one of the most important management decisions for tunnels. The decision between determinate and indeterminate varieties depends on grower preference and market demand. Total yield must be balanced with fruit quality and disease resistance

Stop the Rot! - Using Cultural Practices to Manage Bacterial Diseases of Onion

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Stop the Rot! - Using Cultural Practices to Manage Bacterial Diseases of Onion

Narrow plant spacing reduced bacterial bulb decay by 53 to 64%
Do you know how easy this is? A simple modification to adjust your planting configuration is all it would take to drastically reduce losses from bacterial bulb decay. Our studies showed that when plant spacing was reduced from 6 or 8 inches to 4 inches with 3 or 4 rows per 3-foot plastic mulch bed (row spacing: 4 rows = 6 inch; 3 rows = 8 inch), this provided 53 to 64% control of bacterial bulb decay at harvest (Table 1). Marketable yield also increased by 1.4 to 2.4 times, representing an increased net economic return of $43 to $258 per 100 feet of bed, due to increased weight of marketable jumbo-sized bulbs (Table 1). We learned that wide plant spacing produces big bushy plants with more leaves, thicker necks, delayed maturity and bigger bulbs. Unfortunately, it was these bigger bulbs that rotted! By narrowing plant spacing, we got fewer colossal-sized bulbs, which we more than made up for by having significantly more healthy jumbo-sized bulbs to market (Table 1).

Alternatives to black plastic reduced bacterial bulb decay by 59 to 75%
This is also a very simple and easy modification for small-scale growers producing onions on plastic mulch to make to their cultural practices that could go a very long way towards reducing bacterial bulb decay. Our studies showed that reflective silver mulch, biodegradable black plastic and bare ground had significantly 1.8 to 2.8 times higher marketable yield than black plastic (Table 2). Reflective silver and biodegradable black plastics had significantly 3.7 and 3.6 times, respectively, higher jumbo weight than black plastic, which resulted in an increased net return of $96 to $215 per 100 feet of bed compared to black plastic (Table 2). All of the alternatives to black plastic had significantly lower soil temperatures compared to the black plastic; we suspect that the higher temperatures of the black plastic are more favorable for development of bacterial diseases.


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.

Nightshade Management Reduces Crop Loss

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 20, 2012
Nightshade Management Reduces Crop Loss

Depending on the crop, nightshade can reduce crop yields, harbor diseases, and cause crops to be rejected by processors. Learn about the species of nightshades in NY, physiological differences between them, emergence and growth information, and control strategies.

Wild Proso Millet

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 20, 2012
Wild Proso Millet

Wild proso millet is present in NY and can be a problem weed in sweet corn and other vegetable crops. Learn how to identify this weed on your farm.

Buckwheat Strips to Attract Beneficial Insects in Potato Production

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 12, 2012
Buckwheat Strips to Attract Beneficial Insects in Potato Production

Download a report of field plot strategies for using buckwheat strips to attract beneficial insects for the control of Colorado potato beetle in potato production (2009/2010). This project was funded by the Organic Farming Research Federation.

Fall Application of Dual Magnum for Yellow Nutsedge Control in Muck Onions

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 14, 2011
Fall Application of Dual Magnum for Yellow Nutsedge Control in Muck Onions

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) pressure is very high in certain muck areas where onions are grown. It appears to have become more of a problem in recent years. Onion growers and chemical company representatives believe that applying Dual Magnum, active ingredient metalochlor, in the fall can significantly reduce nutsedge pressure the following spring. However, weed scientists across the country do not believe that fall applications of metalochlor would have any effect on nutsedge populations the following spring, because the dissipation of metolachlor, is relatively rapid, 4-7 weeks in the northern United States. Dual Magnum is labeled as a fall application in field corn and soybeans only in Iowa, Minnesota, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For this use, there are restrictions on the label that state the date after which Dual Magnum may be applied, that soil temperature in the top 4 inches must consistently be 55°F and lower, and that tillage following incorporation must not exceed the 2-3 inch depth of incorporation.

Swede Midge Website

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 29, 2010
Swede Midge Website

As swede midge continues to spread to more farms and gardens across the United States, a comprehensive website is available to aid in the identification and management of this pest of cole crops.


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Upcoming Events

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Agricultural Workforce Resources for COVID-19

The Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development team has dedicated a page of their website to resources, information, and news releases related to COVID-19. Produce farms should review the resources to protect their workforce, their business, and their markets.

How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics

With the current push to work remotely, using pictures to quickly address production questions has a lot of appeal and utility but the images must be of high quality.

In How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics, readers will learn:
  • What makes a high quality image?
  • Things you should know
  • Different problems need different images
  • Steps for taking a high quality image
  • Pro tips
...Plus there a several side-by-side comparisons of poor quality photos versus high quality images with tips on what changes the photographer made to take the better photo. 

Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2020 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 2020 Vegetable Guidelines include: 
  • Updated pesticide options for economically important vegetable crop pests.
  • Completely revised weed management chapter.
  • Updated online crop and pest management resources.
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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