BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — Three upcoming events organized by the Eastern New York Commercial Horticultural Program (ENYCHP), a regional team of Cornell Cooperative Extension, will focus on equipping allium growers with the latest research-based information to improve both production and long-term storage quality of garlic, onions, and leeks.
Commercial vegetable farmers are invited to attend the day-long program Growing Alliums for Storage and Long Term Sales on Thursday, February 8th at the Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Ballston Spa, NY. The event is being organized in response to interest voiced by growers at the Winter Storage of Vegetable Crops meeting in November 2017. “Growers in Eastern New York are facing a number of new allium pest and disease challenges; I’m not surprised there was so much demand for a dedicated program to address those issues,” noted Crystal Stewart, a vegetable crops specialist with the ENYCHP team. “Many of the farms that I work with are seeing higher than average losses to botrytis neck rot this year,” added Amy Ivy, also a vegetable crops specialist with ENYCHP. “Many farms were challenged by uncooperative weather that delayed onion and shallot development in the field, so some crops were harvested before reaching maturity which contributed to some of these losses in storage.” Another of the program specialists, Ethan Grundberg said, “I’m looking forward to having some experienced small and mid-scale allium growers share some of their insights into systems that they’ve developed for harvesting, curing, and storing their crops.” In addition to contributions from other growers, Paul and Sandy Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle, NY will be presenting on their experiences overwintering onions for early summer harvest. More information and on-line registration information for the February 8th program is available at https://enych.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=880.
Teresa Rusinek, a vegetable crops specialist with ENYCHP based in Ulster County, will update growers on another allium pest, the invasive Allium leafminer, at the first ever Eastern New York Fruit and Vegetable Conference at the Desmond Conference Center in Albany, NY on Wednesday, February 21st. The invasive fly species was first found in New York in the fall of 2016 and has spread throughout the region. “Damage to allium crops was mostly confined to smaller organic farms in Ulster county in 2016,” explained Rusinek. She continued, “during the spring and fall flights in 2017, we found extensive damage to chives, leeks, scallions, garlic, and onions in eight counties in Eastern New York.” Ethan Grundberg added that, “we collaborated with Cornell entomologist, Dr. Brian Nault, to conduct some initial insecticide evaluations for allium leafminer management during the fall flight in 2017. Though there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to better understand management options for the pest, we do have some initial results that we’re eager to share with growers.” For the full agenda and registration information please visit the ENYCHP website: https://enych.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=881.
Finally, onion growers in the famous Black Dirt region of Orange County, NY will again have access to Cornell’s onion experts during the Orange County Onion School at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Middletown, NY on Wednesday, February 28th. In addition to updates on Stemphylium leaf blight resistance management, onion thrips management options, and herbicide trial results, onion growers will get to hear about some of the newest technology being used in the onion industry. “I’m pleased that several private industry representatives agreed to speak to the group this year,” stated Ethan Grundberg, the event organizer. “Growers will be excited to hear more about the new PlantTape transplanting equipment being trialed on Vidalia onions in Georgia from Brian Antle, President of PlantTape USA.” Part of the program will also focus on what farms will need to do to comply with the Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2018. “Beyond the basics of compliance, attendees will get to hear from Bill Menkveld of Greentronics Ltd. about some of the cutting edge systems being used for traceability and lot management,” said Food Safety specialist Erik Schellenberg. More details and registration information for Orange County Onion School are available online at https://enych.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=892.
—Eastern New York Commercial Horticultural Program
Cornell Cooperative Extension