SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ever since humans began to cultivate food, there have been individuals who sought to make it more efficient. The rapid, and affordable changes in technology are continuing to bring new tools to farms of all sizes. A few of the questions this year’s grant recipients seek to answer are: Can imagery captured by drones be used to predict the best harvest window for wine grapes and optimum timing for nitrogen application in corn? Will a seed treatment made from anthraquinone, an ingredient derived from rhubarb deter birds from eating corn seedlings? And, how can small farms best enter a wholesale market?
The New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) Board of Directors selected 16 projects for funding in its competitive “FVI” grant program. The projects chosen will help farmers navigate new technology, reduce pesticide use, reach new markets and develop new skills. The knowledge gained from this work will help farmers across the state improve their bottom line.
“There’s no such thing as standing still for a successful farmer. Many of this year’s projects are seeking to help farmers learn which technologies will most benefit their businesses.” said Jim Bittner, Chair of the Board of Directors of NYFVI and owner of Bittner-Singer Orchards.
“New York farmers are fortunate that its state government invests in agricultural research and education. On behalf of the Farm Viability organization, I would like to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo along with Senator Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee and their respective Agriculture Committees for their support of our mission in the NYS budget.” said Mike Jordan, NYFVI Vice Chair and owner Olde Chautauqua Farm.
All proposals were evaluated by NYFVI’s extensive farmer review network to ensure the projects selected for funding address real world priorities. The volunteer board, comprised of ten farmers from across the state, made the final funding decisions.
Grant applications were evaluated in five areas: Producer Involvement, Relevance to NY Agriculture, Farm-Level Impact, Outreach and Budget. The projects selected represent a cross-section of NY agriculture, with research and education efforts that will benefit farms of all sizes and production practices. Project work is beginning immediately.
Using Drone Imagery to Guide Selective Harvest in Wine Grape Vineyards
The practice of selective harvesting for different grades of fruit quality in wine grape vineyards is common among large producers. The harvest plans are guided by NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) maps which provide an indication of vine vigor throughout the vineyard. In Australia, NDVI based selective harvesting has been demonstrated to improve net returns by as much as $1880/acre. Unfortunately, the expense of hiring a service to image a small vineyard has limited the use of this valuable tool. Justine Vanden Heuvel of Cornell University has a one-word solution: Drones. Her project will help Finger Lakes wine grape growers learn how to use drones to collect NDVI images of their vineyards. These images will allow growers to develop data-based selective harvest plans and maximize the economic potential of their fruit.
2017 FVI Grant Recipients
Complete project profiles can be found at www.nyfvi.org
|Apples||Development of Effective Spray Program for Post-Infection Fire Blight Management in Apples and Cost-Benefit Analysis of its Key Components||Cornell University||Srdan Acimovic||$149,950|
|Apples||Improving Apple Grower Profitability Through Precision Management by Developing and Implementing a Smart App||Cornell University||Jaume Lordan Sanahuja||$127,297|
|Dairy||Increasing Dairy Farm Profitability by Reducing the Interbreeding Interval and Optimizing Conception Rate of Lactating Dairy Cows||Cornell University||Julio Giordano||$110,953|
|Dairy||Improving Dairy Cow Health and Reducing Dairy Farm Labor Cost by Automating Health Monitoring and Management||Cornell University||Julio Giordano||$139,676|
|Dairy||Dairy Workforce Online Educational Program.||Cornell University||Kathy Barrett||$16,652|
|Field Crops||Optimizing Variable Rate Seeding in NYS||Advanced Ag Alliance, Inc.||Savanna Crossman||$102,428|
|Field Crops||Decision Agriculture: Managing Nitrogen and Yield in Corn and Forage Sorghum Utilizing Drone NDVI Imaging.||Cornell University||Quirine Ketterings||$148,192|
|Field Crops||Optimize Selection/Management of Short Season Sorghum/Millet Varieties for NY||Advanced Ag Systems LLC||Thomas Kilcer||$39,366|
|Field Crops||Biological Control of Corn Rootworm using Native NY Entomopathogenic Nematodes||Cornell University||Elson Shields||$99,979|
|Field Crops||Open Field Study with Avipel Shield Seed Treatment on Field Corn to Deter Birds from Feeding on Corn Seedlings||Cornell University||Ken Wise||$25,358|
|General||Scaling Up: Developing New and Additional Wholesale Enterprises with Greenmarket Farmers||FARMroots, GrowNYC||Christopher Wayne||$123,944|
|Grapes||Using NDVI Images to Guide Selective Harvest in Wine Grape Vineyards||Cornell University||Justine Vanden Heuvel||$126,775|
|Equine||Equine Small Business Development||Jefferson Community College/SUNY||Megan Stadler||$7,480|
|Vegetables||Trials to Reduce Onion Rot||Cornell University||Steven Beer||$119,715|
|Vegetables||Application of electromagnetic electrical conductivity measurements for precision agriculture for NYS vegetable growers.||SUNY at Buffalo||Erasmus Oware||$84,840|
|Vegetables||Evaluation of Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Insecticides for Controlling Cabbage Maggot in Brassica Vegetables||CCE Suffolk County||Faruque Zaman||$38,135|
–New York Farm Viability Institute
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