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.
Late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans infects both tomato and potato crops worldwide, and is responsible for major losses in both crops. Never before has late blight been introduced into such a wide area of the Northeast because of massive distribution from big box sale of infected tomato transplants. The public needed to be informed on this event because it affected every individual growing these crops, either commercially or for home garden enjoyment.
Grower adoption of Cornell research-based recommendations including narrow plant spacing and alternative mulches dramatically reduce losses from bacterial bulb decay and increase profitability, thus sustaining the small-scale onion industry.
The Network for Environment & Weather Awareness (NEWA), a network of electronic weather stations collecting data on farms, partners with the Northeast Regional Climate Center for data acquisition, quality control, weather information delivery and pest forecast model programming. NEWA users report that they can save, on average, up to $19,500 per year in spray costs and prevent, on average, up to $264,000 per year in crop loss as a direct result of using NEWA pest forecast models.
We organized a workshop to educate winery owners on waste management and water use planning to conserve water and protect the environment.
A recent survey conducted by the Finger Lakes Grape Program (FLGP) has found that its New York Grapes & Wine Classifieds website had an economic impact of more than $1.2 million on the grape and wine industry in New York State in 2011.
This research program is aimed at improving the sustainability of the floriculture industry by developing practices that allow producers to produce high-value crops while using fertilizers, water and energy resources efficiently. For example, floriculture yield losses often result from poor irrigation water quality or improper fertilization practices. The improved efficiency of water and fertilizers has the potential to decrease fertilizer leaching, which will help protect our state's water resources.
Cornell NutritionWorks, at www.nutritionworks.cornell.edu, is an interactive, web-based continuing professional education program for nutrition and health practitioners, developed by the Division of Nutritional Sciences. One offering is a six-week in-depth online course, Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Ecological Approach.
We currently have NSF funding from the Informal Science Education Program to support development of a new project, The YardMap Network, for which we are creating simple, visual mapping tools to gather data on habitat and sustainable practices in backyards, parks, and public spaces.
Urban community gardens provide many benefits; however, garden soils (and urban soils in particular) can contain contaminants that may pose risks to human health. The nature and extent of contamination in many areas remain poorly understood. In addition to this knowledge gap, gardeners and other community stakeholders have identified a need for support in considering risks associated with soil contamination and implementing strategies to reduce those risks.