The PRO-DAIRY mission is to increase the profitability and competitiveness of New York's dairy businesses through industry-applied research and educational programs that enhance farm profitability while advancing dairy professionals' knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for dairying.
DairyFAST is a collaborative effort between the Cornell ProDairy program and the New York Farm Viability Institute.
Agriservice professionals play a key role in disseminating information to dairy producers. As farmers implement management practices and appropriate technology, they turn to agriservice professionals for information and advice. The DairyFAST program provides a cohesive professional development program for agriservice professionals to enable them to have a positive impact on their farm clientele.
This training program was designed for agricultural and small business professional income tax preparers using "live" seminars across New York State.
We are studying the patterns of attack by a community of insect herbivores on plants; the work involves field biology, chemical ecology, genetics, and entomology. Our basic research involves milkweed plants, nearly 120 species from North America (and 20 from South America), which grow in various habitats and are attacked by a specialized community of insects. Some of the work is evolutionary in terms of quantifying phylogenetic patterns associated with the evolution of specialization (in insects parasites) and other work is more ecological, based on community interactions.
Production of fruits and vegetables requires animal, primarily bee, pollination. While honey bees are widely used for crop pollination, honey bee populations are in decline due to a combination of factors, including heavy pathogen load and pesticide use. Native bees—wild bees that occur naturally in the environment surrounding agricultural areas—are contributing significantly to crop pollination, but it is difficult to estimate their exact contribution, and limited resources exist for farmers who want to preserve their native bee fauna.
When released into fields of sweet corn, the tiny wasp Trichogramma ostriniae is effective at suppressing infestations of the European corn borer, a serious pest of the crop. A single release made early in the season is generally all that is needed to reduce damage by 50 percent or more, and multiple releases have proven even more effective. This often results in a reduction in the need for insecticide treatments, thus minimizing risks to health and the environment. The technique is effective in sweet corn and also peppers and potatoes.
Pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium parvum continue to cause a threat to our food and water safety. Similarly, organisms such as Dengue virus and rotavirus are important clinical analytes related to human health, especially in the countries of the developing world. Organisms such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis are serious threat agents for our safety and security, since they can be used as bioweapon material.
The New York State Field Crop Weekly Pest Report provides timely pest information to field crop extension educators and agricultural professionals. The report compiles weekly pest and crop observations collected by field crop extension personnel across New York. In addition, the weekly report provides a vehicle to disseminate other relevant Integrated Pest Management (IPM) information such as pest identification, scouting techniques and a calendar with suggestions for pest management activities.
We organized a workshop to educate winery owners on waste management and water use planning to conserve water and protect the environment.
Using IPM approaches, New York's vegetable farmers are able to make sound pest management decisions, thus reducing pesticides, increasing profits, and sustaining a safe and plentiful food supply.