Lake Ontario Fruit Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

Enrollment Benefits

  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • Fruit Newsletter?
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

Enrollee Login


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  • Issues of Fruit Newletters
  • Helpful Diagnostic Tool:
      What's wrong with my crop?

Event Details

Date

September 13, 2017

Time

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Location

Poughkeepsie Farm Project
51 Vassar Farm Lane
Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Cost

$15.00 /individual


$25.00 for two or more people from the same farm


Host

NOFA-NY

NOFA-NY On-Farm Field Days


Best Management Practices for High Tunnel Nutrition and Soil Health

September 13, 2017

Best Management Practices for High Tunnel Nutrition and Soil Health

Soil tests, foliar tests, foliar feeds, fertigation, managing for yield, long term soil health in a high tunnel isn't a simple process. It can have a lot of components and require a fair amount of analysis. Leon Vehaba is a long-time grower and will share some of his tips, tricks and lessons learned. Cornell Cooperative Extension, partnering with NOFA-NY in a New York Farm Viability Institute funded project, have been working to identify long-term soil health and fertility best management practices. We will share what has been learned at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and at other farms across the state in a conversation focused on development of best management practices.

This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from the New York Farm Viability Institute.

This is one of the 2017 On-Farm Field Days hosted by NOFA-NY. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged for all field days, if you will be paying with a credit card. If paying with cash or check, you will register on-site. There is no need to pre-register online if paying with cash or check, just show up!

Enter your information to see details on each Field Day, and register for those you are interested in! All costs will be $15/individual, $25 for two or more people from same farm, unless otherwise noted.



more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Blueberries

Blueberries

Cherries

Cherries

Currants

Currants

Gooseberries

Gooseberries

Nectarines

Nectarines

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Plums

Plums

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Strawberries

Strawberries

Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

more crops
view calendar of events

Upcoming Events

2018 Becker Forum: Farm Employment Practices - Planning for the Future

January 15, 2018

Syracuse, NY

The 2018 Becker Forum will take place on Monday, January 15, one day prior to the opening of the Empire State Producers Expo. The forum will focus on agricultural workforce issues with three general themes: securing a legal agricultural workforce, labor law compliance and H-2A program topics.
view details

2018 Empire State Producers EXPO

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 16 - January 18, 2018
Morning, Mid-day, and Afternoon Sessions
Syracuse, NY

The 2018 Empire State Producers Expo combines the major fruit, flower and vegetable associations of New York State in order to provide a comprehensive trade show and educational conference for New York producers, as well as the surrounding states and Eastern Canada. 
view details

Save the Dates - LOF Winter Fruit Schools - February 5th & 6th, 2018

February 5 - February 6, 2018
All Day

Save the Dates

More info forthcoming
view details
view calendar of events

Announcements

H2a Employment, Health Benefits & Readmission

For questions/clarification, contact your attorney and/or H2a association provider for assistance. Employees with questions can contact their local legal services provider.

They can also contact :

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for
Governmental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State Street Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Office 518-434-4157 | Cell 518-728-6061
JCS433@cornell.edu | cals.cornell.edu

Hi all;

While I've been waiting for a more official response to be forwarded from a few of our state and federal regulatory partners, I thought it wise to share the following resources on the issue of H2a employment, public charge/benefits, and health insurance in the meantime. If/when we see further regulatory guidance, I'll be sure to forward that along. In the meantime, please do feel free to forward.

The information below has been provided by several legal services organizations as well as immigration law attorneys, but is not legal advice and if in doubt, contact your attorney and/or H2a association provider for assistance. Employees with questions can contact their local legal services provider.

Below please find information regarding the Department of Homeland Security regulations and admissibility of H2a workers in subsequent years, as well as information regarding H2a employees and health insurance.

Note the original question comes from whether or not a NYS issued card entitled "my benefits" would deny an H2a worker re-entry into this country in subsequent years. The regulations below indicate that the Department of Homeland Security would not in fact deny an H2a worker re-entry from possession of a "my benefits" card as the benefit included is health insurance which is excluded from the definition of a public benefit.

Communicating this message with your employees before they leave for the season to ensure that they also understand that health insurance is not a benefit constituting a public charge would be wise so that issues are not raised during the interview process next year if the screening officer asks about whether or not the employee received public benefits the previous year.

Homeland Security regulations on how public benefits and programs are defined for inadmissibility purposes, specifically 8 CFR 212.105(b)(4), among other regulations:

§ 212.105 Are there any forms of public assistance that I can receive without becoming inadmissible as a public charge if I should later apply for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status?

(a) The only benefits that are relevant to the public charge decision are public cash assistance for income maintenance and institutionalization for long-term care at Government expense. Institutionalization for short periods for rehabilitation purposes will not be considered. Non-cash public benefits are not considered because they are of a supplemental nature and do not demonstrate primary dependence on the Government.


(b) Although it is not possible to list all of the non-cash public benefits that will not be considered, you will not risk being found inadmissible as an alien likely to become a public charge by receiving non-cash benefits under the following programs or benefit categories:


(4) Health insurance and health services (other than public benefits for costs of institutionalization for long-term care), including, but not limited to, emergency medical services, public benefits for immunizations and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases, and use of health clinics;

(available at: https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/FR/HTML/FR/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-54070/0-0-0-56200/0-0-0-56785/0-0-0-56933.html)

Additional information regarding H2a employee eligibility for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, as well as eligibility (or non-eligibility) for other assistance benefits can be found in the links below from the US Department of Health Healthcare.gov website, as well as a fact sheet from the National Immigration Law Center, which is a non-governmental organization.
https://www.healthcare.gov/immigrants/immigration-status/

https://www.nilc.org/issues/health-care/lawfullypresent/

H2a employees are considered to be nonimmigrant visa holders, as defined above, and are eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act unless an exemption condition is met. Unless exempted, H2a employees are liable for the tax provisions under the Affordable Care Act. An explanation on exemptions from minimum essential coverage can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/aca-individual-shared-responsibility-provision-exemptions

A few additional resources are linked here:

https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-2a-temporary-agricultural-workers

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-agricultural-workers

https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/aca-individual-shared-responsibility-provision-exemptions

For a non-governmental organization's fact sheet on eligibility for health care for H2a workers, the link below is handy:
http://www.farmworkerjustice.org/sites/default/files/Brief_ACA_H2A_FAQ%202016.pdf

H2a employees should not be eligible for SNAP, as defined in the links below, and should not be enrolled in such. If an H2a employee makes an application for SNAP, eligibility would be denied at the time of receipt of application to the relevant agency. It does not seem that the act of applying constitutes a public charge.

https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/snap-policy-non-citizen-eligibility

https://otda.ny.gov/programs/snap/SNAPSB.pdf

Most importantly, please find below a sample application from the Department of State that does provide the basis of many questions asked during the screening process. Health insurance would not be defined as part of a public benefit leading to a public charge.
https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/images/DS-160_Example.pdf

The National Immigration Law Center, a non-governmental organization, has good articles explaining the issues surrounding public charges/benefits and employment of immigrants on visas. You can read the two articles linked below:
https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/public-charge-overview-2013-10-01.pdf

https://www.nilc.org/issues/economic-support/overview-immeligfedprograms/

I hope this information is helpful towards explaining the complicated issues surrounding a public charge and re-admission. Given the Department of Homeland Security regulations on the topic, acceptance of health care benefits should not be a barrier to re-entry, despite the term "my benefits" on the issued health insurance card. H2a employees with insurance are required to cancel the insurance when leaving the country, so you may wish to remind them of that as well in addition to a friendly reminder about remembering to file taxes.

Best regards, Julie.

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for
Governmental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State Street Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Office 518-434-4157 | Cell 518-728-6061
JCS433@cornell.edu | cals.cornell.edu



Produce Donations for Hurricane Relief

NYS Fruit & Vegetable growers are getting together some loads of "hard" crops (apples, onions, cabbage, winter squash and anything else you think will last a week at room temperature) to send down to TX and, likely, Florida. Feeding America is handling transportation. You will all receive a record of donation.

Dates are weekly to help donations be delivered to where they can be most efficiently used over the next month while emergency feeding continues. More locations can be considered if we can get the pallet count to fill a truck at that locations.

Please visit https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/pdf/event/pdf831_pdf.pdf for more details on times and how to donate and contact Maire Ulrich ASAP if you are interested in donating! (Maire: 845-742-4342/ e-mail mru2@cornell.edu/ office 845-344-1234 )

Updates to Critical H2A Issue for NYS Farmworkers


From Julie Suarez, 9-22-17, 5 PM


Please see the below text which you are welcome to forward.

We're seeking additional regulatory clarity from DOH, Ag and Markets, and DOL regarding the issue of H2a employees and applying for benefits when signing up for the health insurance exchange. We anticipate further information being available next week from regulatory authorities. The issue is not health insurance; the issue in question is related to other benefits that H2a workers may inadvertently apply for in a navigator process and the paperwork issued which is in the form of a "my benefits" card and whether that disqualifies one from re-entry at the border during the U.S. Consulate interview process. Vermont growers are apparently facing similar questions at the moment.

Note that it would be important to consult with an attorney or your H2a association provider, and please know that we'll send out appropriate regulatory clarity as soon as it's received.

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for Govermental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State St Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207
College of Agriculture and Life Science
Cornell University
office 518-434-4157, cell 518-728-6061
email: jcs433@cornell.edu
Below is from Julie Suarez, 9-22-17, 2 PM

Dear all;

In terms of the H2a issue, attorneys at DOH, DOL, and NYS Ag and Markets are seeking to provide some clarity.

Please know that the issue is not whether or not the H2a workers can access health insurance that is now legally required. The crux of the matter may be in how the employee signed up for health insurance. If they utilized a navigator service that automatically enrolled them or submitted the application for other benefits depending upon their income level (i.e. SNAP, WIC, etc.) then in such case they have actually applied for benefits.

Recall that at the border one of the screening questions is whether or not you've ever applied for benefits in this country. While a SNAP application from a foreign resident would be denied; the semantics are such that the employee, if answering completely, has now applied for benefits in this country - however inadvertently.

As soon as better guidance is received from the regulatory authorities we'll be sure to pass it along. In the meantime, if you have H2a workers who have not yet signed up for health care, please DO consult your h2a provider and/or an immigration attorney for better advice before encouraging them to sign. Or ensure that if they use a navigator, they carefully look to see if that navigator will automatically force an application for a different benefit stream.

I certainly didn't mean to panic anyone; but the reality is that with H2a system being notoriously difficult to utilize in the first place, sorting this issue out is pretty critical. Growers using the H2a program should at least be aware of this emerging issue and prepared to take some action and provide advice to employees, when we know what to say.




Below from Julie Suarez, 9-21-17, 3 PM

Critical issue for New York State's Farmworkers Enrolled in the H2a Program

I wanted to bring your attention to a critical issue for New York State's farmworkers enrolled in the H2a program.

As you may be aware, the Health Care Act allows for certain entities to serve as "navigators" charged with the specific responsibilities of signing up individuals eligible for the health care exchanges.

As you may not be aware, if an individual is a farm worker on an H2a contract, that individual is required to meet certain conditions for entry on an annual basis and is screened in their home country prior to admission in the US on an H2a work visa. One of the questions that will bar an applicant under the H2a program from future entry is whether or not the H2a worker has applied for benefits from a local, state, or national entity in the US. If so, the H2a worker is denied entry (the goal of the program is to ensure that admission is offered solely to foreign nationals and that while such foreign nationals are in this country, they cannot access US benefits or social services programs).

A local grower has reported recently that a health care navigator has begun signing up local H2a workers in Western New York for health insurance benefits on the state exchange system. While most likely well intentioned, the most unfortunate effect is that any workers who are signed up for health insurance are now considered to have applied for benefits domestically. This is a screening question and the H2a worker would subsequently be barred from admission next year into the country, despite whatever long history may have been enjoyed in previous years of working on farms during the season in the US.

I am writing this lengthy email to bring this issue to your attention, and to ask you to reach out to H2a employers in your area and ensure that they are familiar with this requirement and talk to their H2a employees. I would suspect strongly that an H2a employee being approached by someone who may have asked would you like health care, would be tempted to sign up without fully realizing the consequences.

Please help spread the word. Thank you, Julie.

Julie C. Suarez
Associate Dean for Governmental & Community Relations
Office of the Dean
126 State Street Suite 200
Albany, NY 12207

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Office 518-434-4157 | Cell 518-728-6061
JCS433@cornell.edu | cals.cornell.edu

NEWA Survey Link

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) wants you to take our online survey — it'll only take about 10 minutes of your time.

Take the survey now:
https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0GRlhOIDI5HwbR3

Whether you've used NEWA's online pest forecast models for years or have never used NEWA at all, we will benefit from your responses. Why? Because we are building a new website at newa.cornell.edu, one that'll be as easy to use on your smart phone as on your desktop, and we want to build it the way you want it to be.

NEWA is an online agricultural decision support system that uses real time weather data, streamed over the internet from 573 weather stations throughout the Northeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic. NEWA provides insect and plant disease pest management tools, degree days, and weather information for growers, consultants, Extension educators, faculty, and others.

NEWA models and resources are available free of charge, and are used to make informed localized crop management decisions. The NEWA website will be upgraded soon and we want to know what users', new and old, want and need out of the new website.

All responses are anonymous and confidential and will not be shared with any outside group.

Thank you for participating!

For more information:

Dan Olmstead
315.787.2207
dlo6@cornell.edu

NEWA Coordinator, New York State IPM Program
Cornell University, NYSAES
630 West North Street
Geneva, NY 14456

NEWA is a Partnership of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program and the Northeast Regional Climate Center.


2017 Champlain and Vermont Young Grower Trip

The 2017 Champlain and Vermont Study trip was a great success and NY growers had again an excellent educational experience. See more by clicking the following link.

https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=501&crumb=business|business

Mechanical Blossom Thinning Video

Click link for Details.
Mechanical blossom thinning video and story.
https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=449&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



Spray Mixing Instructions Considering TRV

Spray Mixing Instructions Considering Tree Row Volume - TRV

Spray Mixing Instructions Considering Tree Row Volume - TRV
Terence Robinson, Poliana Francescatto, Cornell University
Win Cowgill, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

Click below for full article:

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_569.pdf

Precision Chemical Thinning in 2017

Precision Chemical Thinning in 2017 for Gala and Honeycrisp

Poliana Francescatto, Craig Kahlke, Mario Miranda Sazo, Terence Robinson

full article pdf. available here: https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=448&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38

2017 Census of Agriculture

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted' button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.


"Visual Guide" for March Pruning

A Practical "Visual Guide" for March Pruning of Young and Semi-Young High Density Apple Plantings
Mario Miranda Sazo

The document is a practical and colorful visual guide that shows some important pruning cuts to better grow and train the "money makers" Gala, Honeycrisp, and Fuji trees. The pruning cut decisions are easy to follow and their objectives are simple.  More information and the guide can be found here: https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=440&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



2017 LOF Winter Fruit School Presentations

2017 Winter Fruit School presentations that have been approved by the presenters are now available here https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=425&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38; past LOF Winter Fruit School presentations approved for public distribution can be found under the Apples at the bottom in a list.


Working with a Spanish Speaking Workforce

Please use the link below to watch a YouTube video in which Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy Specialist of the Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team and Mario Sazo, Extension Associate of the Lake Ontario Fruit Program discuss Building Campus County Connections: Working with a Spanish Speaking Workforce.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YkXmboxStE&feature=youtu.be


Apple System Payback Calculator Now Available!

Apple System Payback Calculator
You can down load this spreadsheet to help you calculate the return on investment for an orchard system you are considering to plant or invest in.


New York Apples and Hard Cider Classifieds

A new on-line classifieds has been launched to help apple growers and hard cider producers "connect" and conduct business. This website allows users to post items for sale and items for purchase. The site is not exclusive to growers and hard cider producers selling and buying to each other. The site can also be used for grower to grower business and hard cider producer to hard cider producer business. Click the following link to start the website: www.nyahcclassifieds.com. Click the following to download basic instructions on navigating the site: NYAHC Classifieds Notice


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