An on-farm field day was held to inform farmers of the benefits of subsurface tile drainage. The event was planned by three CCE regional and the local soil and water conservation districts. The topic of soil health was broad to cover multiple commodities.
This pilot project is designed to evaluate variation in the sequences of two heifer genes. We will design a DNA test around one of the genes and evaluate its feasibility for DNA-assisted selection for heifer pregnancy.
The Cooperative Enterprise Program collaborated with the Northeast Cooperative Council (NECC) to deliver the Future Cooperative Leaders Conference targeted towards farm operators and employees who have demonstrated potential in leading cooperative businesses in the future. Forty-one persons from 12 cooperatives (doing business in NY, PA, New England), and 4 states attended the conference. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and NY Farm Net staff attended as well. Commodities represented included dairy, field crops, grapes, and nursery crops.
The Cornell Small Grains Breeding and Genetics Project has released a new spring oat variety called Corral with exceptionally high grain yield and disease resistance. This variety is resistant to barley yellow dwarf virus and is more lodging resistant than other oat varieties, thus increasing the efficiency of production for the farmer and thereby resulting in higher profits.
The Cornell Small Grains Breeding and Genetics Project has released a new soft red winter wheat variety called Otsego with exceptionally high grain yield, grain quality and disease resistance. This variety is moderately resistant to fusarium head blight and is more sprout resistant than white wheat varieties, thus increasing the efficiency of production for the farmer and thereby resulting in higher profits.
Management of internal parasites in goats and sheep is important for animal health and profitability of farmers. This project showed that there was farm to farm variation in the effectiveness of copper oxide wire particles; a new approach for control of stomach worms. Including ivermectin, a chemical dewormer, in a protocol to treat goats or sheep infected with deer worm seemed to have no beneficial effect.
The profitability of high-density orchard systems is in large part based on obtaining high fruit yields as soon as possible after planting, and then minimizing inputs costs thereafter. In order to achieve earlier fruiting, trees must have sufficient growth, which growers often achieve by applying synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. However, integrating carbon-based soil amendments (e.g., composts and biochar) along with synthetic nitrogen fertilizers may aid the long-term sustainability of the orchard agro-ecosystem by increasing soil quality and nutrient availability.
New solutions for insect pest management in crops should be based on a sound scientific understanding of the ecology of plant-insect interactions to reduce our reliance on insecticides. In my lab we are working on the development of new tools for insect pest management based on using plant defense mechanisms such as plant resistance and plant tolerance to herbivore damage, as well as hormonal signals to systemically activate natural plant immune responses, thereby providing innate protection against damage from insect herbivores.
The Northern Grapes Project aims to develop research-based viticulture, enology, and marketing recommendations for novel, cold-climate wine grape cultivars that support a growing, rural small-winery industry in the upper Midwest and New England.
In response to changing markets, many New York apple growers have begun to diversify their production towards value-add products, such as hard cider.