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

CVP Enrollment Form (PDF; 174KB)

Enrollee Login

Password:

Log In To Access:

  • Issues of VegEdge Newsletters
  • Helpful Diagnostic Tool:
      What's wrong with my crop?

Not an Enrollee? Enroll Now!

Online Enrollment Form

Follow @Jud_Reid

Best Management Practices for Long-Term High Tunnel Soil Sustainability

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

April 25, 2017

Best Management Practices for Long-Term High Tunnel Soil Sustainability
A collaboration between Cornell Vegetable Program, the Cornell Student Organic Farm and NOFA-NY resulted in a $10,000 award from the Towards Sustainability Foundation. The project team worked closely with 10 high tunnel operators across Central and Western NYS, educated farmers and students, and provided technical assistance in managing soil health in high tunnels for long term productivity. At these farms a total of 20 soil tests and 80 foliar tests were performed, and it was documented that 7 of the 10 farms regularly exceeded recommended soil nutrient levels, often by more than 150%. These excess levels not only indicated a challenge in environmental, but also financial sustainability. Phosphorus, calcium and magnesium from fertilizers build up over time and interfere with other nutrient uptake. High pH irrigation water and fertilizers cause soil pH to rise, limiting micronutrient availability.

Project staff worked closely with growers to analyze and respond to the results, focusing on reducing phosphorus and calcium inputs and better supplying the crop with sufficient nutrition. This reduced excess nutrient application in high tunnel soils and lead to improved net profitability as input costs decrease and yields increased. The 10 participating NYS High Tunnel growers improved tunnel sustainability by optimizing fertilizer inputs, balancing macro-nutrients, decreasing compaction, increasing organic matter levels and other related parameters through the implementation of soil BMPs.
  • 6 of 10 participating growers adopted the incorporation of cover crops to the high tunnel rotation to increase organic matter, reduce compaction and reduce excess nutrients in the soil. 
  • 8 of 10 participating growers adopted the use of low-to-no phosphorus fertilizers to avoid further nutrient build up. 
  • 8 of 10 participating growers improved their pH management strategy through soil and/or water acidification.
  • After participating in this project, net high tunnel income increased by an average of $1556.61, for an average increase of 26.9%. 
The program was refunded for an additional $10,000 to continue the work in 2017.

A short video about high tunnel soil conditions, produced by NOFA-NY, features Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist Judson Reid.

more crops
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

SCRUB Twilight Workshop Series

September 1, 2021 : Bin Blitz

Experienced growers and UVM's Ag Engineering present new strategies and cleaning tools to increase the efficiency and efficacy of bin cleaning, sanitation and management practices. Lead growers show and tell their bin systems, with lessons learned. Participants leave with a plan to improve/implement new practices.

September 8, 2021 : Low Cost and High Value

Evaluate low-cost (either money or time) improvements that make a big difference. Experience growers show and tell the thrifty improvements they made and summarize lessons learned, including trade-offs of spending money (or not) to lower risks and increase efficiency. 

September 15, 2021 : Wash/Pack Floors

Learn to improve or repair a concrete floor so that it is smooth and easy to clean. This workshop highlights concrete repair, cleaning and sanitation techniques, water management, products and resources, as well as show and tell from experienced growers, and Chris Callahan from UVM's Extension Ag Engineering.

September 22, 2021 : Wash Water Management

Experienced growers and facilitators dig into the fundamentals of managing produce wash water, including show and tell with lessons learned about wash water management, use and monitoring of sanitizers. All participants leave with a plan to improve/implement new practices.

September 29, 2021 : Tools for Employee Management and Empowerment

Develop management strategies/systems to retain and empower high-value workers, while improving crew morale and culture. Learn from experienced managers of loyal and reliable crews, the pros and cons of their current management systems, and how they came to be. Participants leave with resources and a plan to improve/implement one or more new practices or strategies.

October 6, 2021 : Bubblers/Aerators for Greens Washing

For growers wanting to install or improve a greens bubbler/aerator. Get feedback from growers who built/improved their own systems. Examine designs and DYI resources, as well as perceived quality and efficiency gains from bubblers as compared to other washing methods. This workshop features a panel of New York growers!

view details

Announcements

Fungicides for ALS in Broccoli

The Cornell Fungicide "Cheat Sheet" for ALS and Head Rot in Broccoli and Other Cole Crops has been updated for 2021. It includes some additional products including generic options for Inspire Super and Switch, which may offer some cost savings.

NEWSLETTER  |   CURRENT PROJECTS  |   IMPACT IN NY  |   SPONSORSHIP  |   RESOURCES  |   SITE MAP