The viticulture and enology steering committee created a quarterly electronic newsletter, Appellation Cornell, to provide in-depth research articles written for laypersons, as well as faculty profiles, student profiles, industry profiles, and brief articles to highlight research, extension, and teaching activities of Cornell's Viticulture and Enology Program to a national and international audience. In its first year, readership comprised 1000 to 1500 online subscribers in 45 states, three Canadian provinces, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Fifty articles were published in 2010.
Organic agriculture has come to the forefront as an important opportunity for all farm sectors, across the country. Through our efforts, we have increased the research and extension support of these producers. We have identified strategies and developed grower tools to improve production and reduce environmental impacts of organic vegetable, grain and dairy systems in the Northeast U.S. A new initiative has focused on understanding the community supported agriculture model for impacts on consumer behavior and health awareness.
The primary focus of this project is to support the existing and expanding grape and wine industries in New York and other states east of the Rocky Mountains by increasing the abilities of grape producers and their advisers to manage infectious diseases that limit profitability and preclude sustainable production if not addressed adequately. Additionally, the project has several components that are applicable to the grape industry in the western U.S. and to those in overseas locations.
This project is overseen by the Pennsylvania/New York Campus Compact Consortium: Transforming Institutions through Service-Learning in the Academic Disciplines Program, funded by the Corporation for National Service and Community Service Learn and Serve America Program. The project brings together faculty from the related disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning from four institutions, two in New York City and two in upstate cities.
Selectable marker genes are widely used for the efficient transformation of crop plants. In most cases, selection is based on genes for antibiotic or herbicide resistance, which are most efficient. Due mainly to consumer and grower concerns, considerable effort has been put into developing strategies to eliminate marker genes from plants after transformation. However, these methods are generally of low efficiency.
The grape powdery mildew fungus has long been thought to be native to the eastern U.S. This idea is based on historical reports of grape powdery mildew in the U.S. earlier than elsewhere and that the grape species native to the U.S. are more resistant to mildew than those in Europe or Asia.
Fruit farmers and turfgrass managers must produce pesticide and fertilizer records on demand for EPA Worker Protection, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, food safety audits, food processors, produce brokers, eco-markets, organic certifiers, etc. Trac Software has been documented to improve pesticide application record keeping and to facilitate generating reports. Since its invention in 2003 by Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program, over 500 fruit farmers in New York and worldwide have obtained Trac Software, and 98 percent continue using it.
Improved crop varieties are required to remain competitive in the global economy. Agricultural resources are increasingly allocated to benefit the large producer. However, the growing movement toward consumption of locally grown produce has made small- and medium-sized farms profitable.
The development of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry varieties adapted to temperate climates will help diversified growers remain profitable and competitive with large producers in tropical and subtropical climates.
Cold-hardy, disease-resistant wine grape varieties are helping fuel the rise of the grape and wine industry in New York and other regions of the U.S. Along with expansion of this agricultural industry comes a significant boost to the economy through tourism (retail, restaurants, winery visitors, hotels, tasting room sales of related products, etc.). There is continuing demand for new, high-quality wine grapes that can reduce pesticide applications, reduce the cost of production, and expand the range of sites on which grapes can be grown.