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Emerging Crops

Emerging CropsChanges in the marketplace are marked by consumer demand for new, local, high quality foods beverages and other plant products. The growth in craft beverage, local foods and hemp are all powered by crop production on New York State farms. Harvest NY's Emerging Crops program explores the potential for new crops -- industrial hemp, hops and more -- in New York State. The Emerging Crops program supports the growth and expansion of industrial hemp, hops and grains for the local craft beverage or bakery industry, and other emerging markets in NYS. Our program seeks to maximize the economic potential for current NY-grown crops, including berries, through education on best management practices and season extension techniques. Harvest NY Emerging Crop Specialists work directly with farmers on production issues by conducting industry-wide research and development projects.



EMERGING CROPS CATEGORIES




Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

Anya Osatuke, WNY Berry Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: March 8, 2022
Propagating Strawberry Plants Through Runners

The production of strawberry plants is challenging due to the rigorous sanitation needs that must be met, especially in field propagation settings, but also in greenhouse settings. To add to that, growers in New York may find it more difficult to obtain their preferred strawberry varieties in the coming years, as fewer nurseries are propagating strawberries. The solution: strawberry plug plants propagated from runners in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or high tunnel. Plug production of rarer varieties that do well in New York State will fetch a higher price than dormant bare-root plants due to the higher cost of production and lower availability in the Northeast, especially if plants are available in August. This article only discusses production and marketing potential of plug plants because successful field production of bare-root strawberries is very difficult to achieve without the use of highly restricted soil fumigants. 


Pawpaws in NY: A Guide on How to Grow and Care for Pawpaws

Anya Osatuke, WNY Berry Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: October 5, 2021
Pawpaws in NY: A Guide on How to Grow and Care for Pawpaws

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a fruiting tree native to the eastern United States, growing from the Florida lowlands up to the Southern Tier in New York. It is believed that the pawpaw's range is as large as it is because Indigenous Peoples cultivated this tree. Pawpaws have great value as a food crop. They contain 7 of the 9 essential amino acids and are an excellent source of iron and manganese. 

The pawpaw patch in Lansing has attracted much interest due to the large, flavorful fruits and strong trees that grow there. Pawpaw trees grow up to about 35 feet tall. Pawpaws need around 5 to 6 years to begin growing fruits and flowers. Their maroon-colored flowers open between March and May, and fruit become ripe from August through October. Compared to pawpaws that grow in the wild in the Midwest, some of the fruits of the Lansing pawpaws can be 2 - 5 times larger. 

This guide, written by Anya Osatuke, Berry Specialist with CCE Harvest NY, Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres in Trumansburg, NY, and Marvin Pritts of Cornell University, shares practical information on how to grow and care for pawpaws, based on conversations with growers and researchers in New York State and the information provided by the references cited. 


Cornell Recommendations for U-Pick Operational Changes due to COVID-19

Esther Kibbe, WNY Berry Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: April 29, 2020
Cornell Recommendations for U-Pick Operational Changes due to COVID-19

Many growers who allow customers to come and pick their own vegetables and fruits have been concerned about how that will work in this time of social distancing and closed businesses. At this time, the state has not prohibited U-Pick or on-farm sales. Cornell has just released a document outlining best practices and ideas for growers who choose to allow the public on their farms. 


Managing Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp in New York

Esther Kibbe, WNY Berry Specialist
Harvest New York

Last Modified: February 5, 2020
Managing Blueberry Stem Gall Wasp in New York

In the past few months, several growers across WNY have observed stem galls in their blueberry fields. While somewhat uncommon, the blueberry stem gall wasp (Hemadas nubilipennis) is an insect native to Eastern North America. It is found in both low and high bush blueberry plants in the wild and in cultivated fields. In some regions and varieties the wasp can multiply to high levels, causing economic injury in commercial fields. 


Edible Hemp Foliar Sampling Project 2018

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Team Leader
Harvest New York

Last Modified: January 7, 2019
Edible Hemp Foliar Sampling Project 2018

Hemp, a multi-use crop that has been cultivated for centuries, is increasingly cultivated in New York. 'Industrial hemp' is a non-intoxicant version of Cannabis sativa with potential use as fiber, grain or processed consumer products. Hemp is a controlled substance, regulated by the US Drug Enforcement Agency. New York is one of the states with a sanctioned program to study growth, cultivation and marketing of the crop. 

In 2018 CCE worked with two farms in Central and Northern New York to begin to understand nutrient dynamics in the production of edible hemp. The end product may be a microgreen for salad style consumption, juice or smoothies; or formulated into other edible products. Although we initially began to work with microgreens, farmers have found interest in edible portions of later stages of crop growth too. In both situations the crop was grown inside a greenhouse; one in mineral soil, the other in potting soil.




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Announcements

New Ag Climate Factsheet Released

The intersection of agricultural production and greenhouse gases is gathering increasing attention. This is an opportune time to consider how vegetable production interacts with carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and how using cover crops may alter this picture.

The factsheet, Greenhouse Gases and Soil Organic Carbon in Vegetable Production and the Role of Cover Crops, written by Zach Spangler, Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist with CCE Harvest NY, and Elizabeth Buck, Fresh Market Vegetable Specialist, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses:
  • Sequestration of atmospheric carbon in agricultural soils as soil organic carbon (SOC). Is vegetable production impacting SOC?
  • Net greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) from the soil.
  • Impact of cover crops on soil organic carbon, nitrous oxide emissions, and other GHG emissions.


The NY Food Hub Collaborative Takes Root!

Cornell Cooperative Extension has received a USDA Regional Food Systems Partnership Planning and Development grant for the NY Food Hub Collaborative. This is a 2-year project.

The NY Food Hub Collaborative brings together 29 local food system stakeholders representing 21 organizations to realize the long-term goal of improving the economic viability of mid-tier value chain partners targeting local markets by improving efficiencies, maximizing profits, and increasing demand for NY food products. Three objectives guide the project tea toward that goal:

1. Establish a Collaborative of interdependent food hubs designed to work collaboratively to efficiently, affordably, and effectively market NY food products to institutional markets.

2. Identify the potential for small, mid-size, and socially disadvantaged producers to be competitive in state agency and institutional contracts.

3. Develop strategic business relationships between mid-tier value chain partners including food hubs, producers, processors, distributors, and markets that emphasize organizational interdependence, trust, and transparency and equitably distribute responsibilities and rewards.

Objectives will be met through strategic planning amongst Collaborative partners, virtual field trips to learn best practices from national partners, business-to-business development opportunities, producer and market partner training, and a series of outputs. Outputs include an interactive local food system asset map, a procurement guide on selling NY food products to various institutional markets, an analysis of existing procurement policies across institutions and recommendations for improvement, market analyses of key institutional market partners, a NY Collaborative product guide, and an implementation plan that provides a framework to operationalize the NY Food Hub Collaborative.

Project Partners:

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome, Oneida, Essex, and Saratoga Counties
  • Farm Fare
  • Syracuse University
  • Upstate Growers & Packers
  • Eden Valley Growers
  • Capital Roots
  • Farm Fresh First
  • 607CSA
  • Hub on the Hill
  • Headwater Food Hub
  • Syracuse Onondaga Food Systems Alliance
  • Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corp.
  • Center for Agriculture Development and Entrepreneurship
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Buffalo City School District
  • Syracuse City School District
  • NYC Citywide Administrative Services
Additional project partners will be identified as the project takes root. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to Project Director, Cheryl Bilinski, cbt32@cornell.edu.



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