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Soil Health Researchers Launch Farmer Survey in New York State

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 https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aYqu9RGbN0Asf5j. A paper form of the questionnaire is also available below and at the Soil Health Group's website (https://blogs.cornell.edu/soilhealthinitiative/) 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 https://tinyurl.com/NYsoilsurvey 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; https://blogs.cornell.edu/soilhealthinitiative/. Questions about the New York State Soil Health Workgroup's research can be directed to Cedric Mason at (607) 255-8641 or cwm77@cornell.edu.


Soil Health Questionnaire (pdf; 40KB)

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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

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Upcoming Events

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Announcements

Save the Date! - Scroll down for Upcoming Events

2022 Events - for details and registration info click on the event title of interest:
CCE prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of the communities we serve. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, and due to an abundance of caution certain events will be cancelled. Please check back through out the week for any additional event cancellations.

Have you missed a meeting recently?  All recorded LOFP hosted webinars can be found on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/c/LakeOntarioFruitProgram


NOW - please scroll down to find links to Strawberry Grower Survey & Degradable Mulching Films for Sustainable Agriculture Survey!
22 July - Hard Cider Summer Tour 2022 - 10am - 5pm, preregistration required, suggested $5 donation

28 July - 2022 Postharvest Reviews: Session 1. Pre- & postharvest factors affecting the quality of 'Gala' & recommendations for this year's harvest and storage season. - Noon - Free Zoom

9 August - LOF Summer Tour, eastern Orleans County - More info here:


11 August - Annual Cornell Hemp Field Day - 8am - 3pm - $25/person

16 - 17 August - NASGA Summer Tour - all day - South Central Ontario, Canada



Pollinator Resouces

Now available Pollinator Resource Links


Meeting Recordings Now Available

Did you miss the recent meeting?  Check and see if we recorded it and added it to our website or Lake Ontario Fruit Program YouTube Channel.

Honeycrisp Meetup recordings available here.

Why are my trees growing so poorly? recording available here.

Additional Recorded Webinars listing with recording and resource link are available at
https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=838&crumb=crops|crops|apples|crop*38



New Publication on Growing Pawpaws

Are you a fan of pawpaws? These custardy fruits can be hard to come across, so this guide provides information on how to grow your own pawpaw from seed, and how to care for grafted seedlings. Pdf on growing now available.​ https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=799&crumb=crops|crops|unusual_fruit|crop*50

New Weed Management Technology Survey

Want to move away from herbicide reliance? Are you using novel technologies to manage weeds? We want to know about it to inform our weed science research. A team of weed scientists from University of California Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell University are asking berry, tree fruit, tree nut, and vine crop growers to take 5 to 10 minutes and answer this short and anonymous survey. Weed Technology Survey link: https://cornell.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bEpfAijoP7puQDP

For more information on this survey please visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/2020/12/02/new-weed-management-technology/


Pollinator Webinar Series - Summer 2020

The Pollinator Webinar Series presented by Penn State cover bee health and pollination services.



Bloom Pesticides for Pollinator Health

A reference table created by Janet van Zoeren and Anna Wallis, is now available at https://lof.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=711&crumb=pests|pests.

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