Lake Ontario Fruit Program Enrollment

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

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  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Most Recent Horticulture Content

2018 Lake Ontario Winter Fruit Schools

Last Modified: February 16, 2018

Presentations from the 2018 Lake Ontario Winter Fruit Schools. 

Soil Health Researchers Launch Farmer Survey in New York State

Last Modified: February 8, 2018

Study Will Analyze Economic and Environmental Benefits of Cover Crops and Other Farm Practices
[Ithaca, NY] A state-wide survey of New York farmers is underway, with the aim of highlighting economic costs and benefits associated with maintaining and improving agricultural soil health. The survey, which will examine the agricultural practices of using cover crops and reduced tillage, is being conducted by the New York State Soil Health Workgroup and funded by NYS department of Ag and Markets.
The New York State Soil Health Workgroup is a network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers working to keep the state's agricultural soils healthy and productive in the future. As part of these efforts, the group has recently launched a survey to explore farm practices that impact soil health, productivity, and farm profits. The survey is currently underway and will run until March 10th, 2018. The survey questionnaire can be completed by New York State farmers through an online link at A paper form of the questionnaire is also available at the Soil Health Group's website ( which can be printed and returned to the researchers by mail.
"Soil health offers a lot of win-win solutions" said David Wolfe, a professor who studies soil and water management at Cornell University. Our efforts to improve soil health are "directly affecting farmers and healthy food for all of us, but also all kinds of environmental issues: erosion, water quality, food security and climate change challenges. They're all part of this". New York State contains over 7 million acres of active farmland that are used to produce a wide variety of agricultural crops including apples, grapes, vegetables, corn, and soybeans. While agricultural soils are crucial to the state's farms, they also provide other benefits to society such as protection of water resources and reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas). However, these soils suffer from compaction and loss of organic matter, and generally the health of these soils has degraded over time as a result of intensive use.
The New York State Soil Health Workgroup is looking for ways to improve and promote on-farm practices such as cover crops that bolster soil health. One of the group's principal investigators is Matt Ryan, who conducts research on sustainable cropping systems. "Cover crops can do a number of different things, provide a number of benefits. They can protect soil from erosion, they can suppress pests, but they're also one of the best tools that we have for building and increasing soil health", Ryan stated. The practice of using cover crops to protect bare soil and build organic matter could be greatly expanded in New York state, and the survey is one way that the researchers are working to get a better handle on how cover crops are being used, what impact they have on farm profitability, and why some farmers have yet to adopt the practice. "We're looking at different ways to overcome this barrier to adoption" Ryan added.
The researchers urge farmers to participate in the study by completing the 10-minute questionnaire via the online link at before March 10th, 2018. A paper form of the questionnaire can be downloaded and printed, and more information about soil health and the Workgroup is available at their website; Questions about the New York State Soil Health Workgroup's research can be directed to Cedric Mason at (607) 255-8641 or

NRCC Funding Could be Reduced by 80% - Contact Your Representatives Now!

Craig Kahlke, Team Leader, Fruit Quality Management
Lake Ontario Fruit Program

Last Modified: June 27, 2017

NRCC Funding Could be Reduced by 80% - Contact Your Representatives Now!
Art DeGaetano, Cornell University

The President's budget for FY 2018 drastically cuts funding for a large number of programs. The Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) was not immune from these cuts and in fact faces an 80% reduction in funding. We are making our final push to assure that funds for the NRCC are maintained in the federal FY18 budget. NRCC is a key partner in the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA;, provided by the New York State IPM Program at Cornell. The NEWA tools are a key part of planning and decision making process when growing many crops, apples being a key for pest and disease models, crop load management, growing degree day models, etc.

We are requesting that key NRCC stakeholders contact our supporters in the U.S. Congress to illustrate the breadth and value of the data services we provide. For over 30 years it has been through the support of Congress that the Regional Climate Centers have flourished. Please click here to use the attached template|pests
to get started.

It seems we may have a friend in Congresswoman Meng, from Queens so having people send a letter to her would be helpful.

They should also send their letter to their local representative, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, as well as sending a copy to me (address below).

Finally hitting people from the Republican districts in the state would also help. I have met with staff from:

Collins (most of western NY outside of Rochester and Buffalo);
Faso (Hudson Valley south of Albany and Catskills);
Stephanik (North Country)

So having them hear from someone in their district would be great.

The other republicans are

Zeldin (eastern end of Long Island)
King (southwest Suffolk County)
Donovan (mostly Staten Island)
Tenney (Oswego to Binghamton)
Katko (Syracuse west to Rochester)

More Horticulture Content

Spray Mixing Instructions Considering Tree Row Volume - TRV
Mechanical blossom thinning video.
A Practical "Visual Guide" for March Pruning of Young High Density Plantings
Platform Payback Tool
DEC Registered Pesticides for New York
What Herbicides control which weeds ?
2016 Lake Ontario Winter Fruit School
Black Stem Borer Trap Data
Revisions in EPA WPS comment period open until Dec. 23, 2015
Apple IPM for Beginners
NYS Crop Survey Report
Labor Cost Calculator for Platform Activities
Precision Crop Load Management 2015 - Information and Tools for the Job
Apple IPM
Pruning Labor Cost Calculator
2015 Winter Fruit School
Presentations - 2015 Winter Tree Fruit Schools
» View Complete List of Horticulture Content
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Unusual Fruit

Unusual Fruit

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view calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Good to Great - Improving Agriculture Labor Management

November 7 - March 6, 2018

A 4-part workshop by USDA - Northeast Extension RMA, The Cornell Farmworker Program, and CCE. 
Your employees are your most valuable resources.

For workshop times and locations click view details.

view details

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

February 21 - February 22, 2018

Niagara Falls, ON

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention is an annual gathering of horticultural crop producers involved in the production of fruits and vegetables.

view details

Postponed - Lake Ontario Fruit Team Communications Focus Group

February 27, 2018
AM - details TBA
Hilton, NY

This event has been postponed - registration will reopen when a new date is set.

Please join us and share your thoughts on how the Lake Ontario Fruit Team should best communicate with you, the stakeholders!  Technology information overload is upon us - the Lake Ontario Fruit Team wants to use the platforms that best serve you best.  We need your feedback and ideas!

view details
view calendar of events


Upcoming Meetings

Biological Control of Spotted Wing Drosophila
Feb 23, 2018 - 12 noon - 1pm - Free online webinar
Register -

Water Summit
Feb 27-28, 2018 - Free - In person registration is full, remote option is still available
Register -

Don't Miss Out Register Now 27 Feb Events!

27 February - FREE Events - 2 great opportunities at one awesome new location, lunch included!
Don't miss out, pre-register now for both
free events AM & PM same day same location.
Postponed - Lake Ontario Fruit Team Communications Focus Group Meeting
Still On - Cider Tasting and Sensory Education for Apple Growers - register by February 9, 2018!
Register Now -

2018 Fruit School Presentations Now Available

Now available pdfs of some of the materials presented at the 2018 Lake Ontario Winter Fruit Schools.|crops|apples|crop*38

Soil Health Questionnaire

Please complete before March 10th, 2018.
Details, links to online, and pdf questionnaires available at|crops|apples|crop*38

FSMA PSA Grower Training Courses Register Now

March 16, 2018
Federal requirement for most fruit and vegetable growers. Register before March 9:
Other courses outside of our region:

2018 Special Permit Training Register Now!

Special Permit Training 2018:
Wednesday, April 4 in Wayne Co. (English in morning, Spanish in afternoon):
Thursday, April 5 in Orleans Co. (concurrent English and Spanish session in morning):

Don't Miss the CCE-LOF Candidate Interviews

Register Now for the CCE-LOF Business Management Position candidate interviews.
Free event, lunch included, register by 28 Feb 2018 at

Certified Pesticide Applicator Training & Test

2018 Pre-Exam Training & Test to Become A Certified Pesticide Applicator
Must Pre-register by February 26
March 13 - March 19, 2018
More details here:

Register Now for Spanish-speaking Fruit Schools

CCE - LOF Spanish-speaking Fruit Schools
March 16 (Orleans Co.) & 17 (Wayne Co.), 2018
Register by March 12 at

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention

More details at

FSMA 7 Hour Grower Training Course - 16 March 2018

Save the Date: Friday, March 16, 2018
Cost & Registration: TBA
All of you should be aware of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into federal law by President Obama in 2011. I have been writing about it and offering courses for nearly 2 years. If you are not exempt from the Produce Safety Rule, one of the requirements is to take a 7-hour grower training course.
For more information visit:

2017 Census of Agriculture Info

For info on 2017 Census of Agriculture click here

Crop Insurance Enrollment Reminder!

Time to buy crop insurance for Apples, Grapes, Peaches, & Tart Cherries. 

Enrollment deadline for the 2018 growing season is November 20, 2017!

Crop insurance helps producers manage risk.  If you suffer losses this year, crop insurance can help you be able to plant next year.  Some fruit growers use Whole Farm Revenue Protection, a new insurance product that allows to you to insure your overall revenue.  Find more crop insurance information at

To purchase, contact a crop insurance agent. Find one using the USDA RMA Agent Locator at

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:

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, 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

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.|business

Mechanical Blossom Thinning Video

Click link for Details.
Mechanical blossom thinning video and story.|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:

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:|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 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 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:|crops|apples|crop*38

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.

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: Click the following to download basic instructions on navigating the site: NYAHC Classifieds Notice

Lake Ontario Fruit Program - Cornell Cooperative Extension
Your Trusted Source for Research-Based Knowledge