Cornell Vegetable Program Enrollment

Program Areas

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

Enrollment Benefits

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

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Soil Health

Soil HealthExcess rains and droughts of the past decade pointed out the poor health and productivity of soils on many local vegetable farms. Coupled with high fuel prices and high fertilizer prices, growers have been eager to improve their soil management efforts. Reduced tillage leads to less fuel use and legume cover crops allow the farmer to grow nitrogen fertilizer, reducing their need for conventional fertilizer and the fuel and labor to apply it.

The Cornell Soil Health Test can be used to determine your field's soil management for percentage of water-stable aggregates. A soil with low % water-stable aggregates has  poor crop emergence, more crusting, more runoff, reduced root growth, increased root diseases, and fewer beneficial microbes to cycle soil nutrients.

Vegetable farms using conventional tillage and few cover crops had an average of just 18% water-stable aggregates, while farms using reduced tillage or extensive cover cropping averaged 36-39%. Innovative growers are now beginning to adopt both strategies to improve soils even more.

In addition, the Cornell Vegetable Program is working with a number of conventional and organic vegetable growers on increasing the use of a wide range of cover crops to fill open niches in rotations to improve soil health and grow nitrogen.






Relevant Event

Orleans Regional Vegetable Grower Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 19, 2019
M 1:00pm -3:30pm
Albion, NY

Most Recent Soil Health Content

High Tunnel Best Management Practices for Long Term Soil Health and Fertility

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 19, 2018
High Tunnel Best Management Practices for Long Term Soil Health and Fertility

These best management practices were selected by experienced high tunnel growers and extension staff as a result of a four year project tracking economic, soil and irrigation water data from high tunnels across New York State. They can be used remedially, or implemented in a new high tunnel system.

Adding Cover Crops to Your Farm? Consider the Herbicide Rotation Restrictions

Darcy Telenko, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 19, 2016
Adding Cover Crops to Your Farm? Consider the Herbicide Rotation Restrictions

One challenge to adding cover crops to your vegetable production system is that herbicides with residual activity may interfere with cover crop establishment and growth. Residual herbicides are a key management tool in vegetable production, especially for management of difficult weeds and their potential to help control herbicide-resistant weeds. Here are some questions to consider when utilizing a cover crop and how well it will work with your herbicide program.

Video: Moving a High Tunnel

Cordelia Machanoff, Program Aide
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: May 19, 2016
Video: Moving a High Tunnel

Vegetable farmers have embraced the use of high tunnels to enhance productivity and quality of warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers. Growers meeting the demand for fresh market produce through high tunnel production face a unique set of soil management challenges. Intensive cropping minimizes opportunities for fallow periods, cover cropping and other techniques for maintaining soil health and fertility. The plastic covering prevents rain from leaching the profile, leading to excess salts and alkalinity. By choosing a moveable tunnel design, like the one in this video, a grower can grow a protected crop continuously while allowing for fallow periods, cover cropping and movement of excess salts through the soil profile. Moveable tunnels can be moved laterally (as shown) or pulled lengthwise to cover an already established crop (ie. move the tunnel from summer tomatoes over fall greens).


More Soil Health Content

Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers Website
Living Mulch Project Update
Soil Health Grant Offers Cover Crop Evaluations and the Cornell Soil Health Test
SARE Cover Crop Topic Room: Current Research from Across the Nation
Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures
Spring Application of Winter Rye Grain for Weed Control in Summer Vegetables
2009 Elba Muck Soil Nutrient Survey Summary
Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production
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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

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Upcoming Events

Fresh Market Vegetable Grower Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

February 21, 2019
Th 1:00 - 3:30 PM
Newark, NY

This course will educate fresh market growers on current pest management, food safety, and marketing issues in fresh market crops. Specific topics covered include: managing the weed seedbank, Farm to School marketing opportunities, Late Blight updates, FSMA On-Farm Readiness Reviews, biopesticides and biostimulants and how they work, wash line equipment cleaning checklist, and a discussion of production problems throughout the 2018 growing season.
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Designing a Safe and Sanitizable Packing Line

March 6, 2019
W 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Branchport, NY

Join Robert Hadad, CVP vegetable specialist, to learn about how to design a produce packing line that fits your budget and maximizes efficiency and food safety. This workshop will cover what you need to take into account when designing your line, along with how you can modify an existing system to for increased sanitation and efficiency. Robert will also discuss how packing line and packing house design fits in with the new Food Safety Modernization Act requirements.
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Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

Event Offers DEC Credits

March 11 - March 12, 2019
M 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM; T 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Binghamton, NY

Are you a farmer interested in produce safety? Are your markets asking for food safety plans or third party verification? Do you want to understand produce safety issues as they relate to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Food Safety Rule, third party audits and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)? Participation in this training, hosted by CCE Broome County, will give you the tools to create an on-farm food safety plan and complete one of the requirements of either FSMA OR the New York State Grown and Certified branding program. We will also discuss potential funding streams to make infrastructure upgrades to your farm related to food safety!
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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.

2018 Cornell Vegetable Program Year in Review

2018 is behind us but we hope that our team's efforts to enhance New York vegetable production continues well beyond! This year, our Specialists gave presentations at 119 events, sharing our knowledge with 3,535 people.

We continue to conduct on-farm research to help answer the questions of our growers. The Cornell Vegetable Program managed 50 research grants and projects in 2018. We extend our gratitude to the 65 farms and organizations that offered us land, labor, and supplies to support our trials! We also want to thank those farmers that gave generous financial contributions to support our work as well.

We cannot forget to thank the 13 Cooperative Extension Associations that partnered with us this year too. We're excited to be adding Steuben County to our list of participating counties in 2019!

Our 2018 Year in Review brochure highlights our research and educational projects.

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