The topography, soils, climate, and geographic location of the Hudson Valley provide farmers with opportunities and challenges:
Entomological Research: HVRL; Jentsch Lab
Peter Jentsch is presently station director at the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory. His focus has been on the best use of IPM tools to assist growers in management of tree fruit, small fruit, grape and vegetable crops.
His focus on the invasive insect complex has provided the opportunity to develop novel areas of research into the use of trap trees and attract and kill stations to manage the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and Spotted Wing Drosophila.
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Research: HVRL; Acimovic Lab
We would like to welcome Dr. Srdjan Acimovic as the new tree fruit plant pathologist at the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory. Srdjan accepted the position replacing Dr. Dave Rosenberger, retiring in February 2014. Srdjan recently completed his PhD program at Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Research: HVRL
HVRL horticulturalist Dana Acimovic, joined the HVRL on June 1st, 2016 to fill the horticultural position left by Gemma Reig-Cordoba. Dana will be working with Terence Robinson’s on moving Hudson Valley projects forward. She will be working with post-docs Dr. Poliana Francescatto and Jaume Lordan Sanahuja, stationed at the NYSAES Geneva during Robinson’s 3-year leave. Dana’s focus on sunburn of HoneyCrisp and Gala is in its third year with research also conducted on varietial trials of Cabernet Franc.
Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Research: HVRL; Rosenberger Lab
Dr. Dave Rosenberger retired in February 2014 after working for 36 years as a research plant pathologist at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Lab in Highland, NY. He remains actively involved in diagnosis of tree fruit diseases and evaluation of strategies for controlling them
- Slopes on hillsides along river valleys provide the soils and frost-free sites needed for fruit production. Organic soils and river bottoms provide ideal land for vegetable production.
- The Hudson Valley’s proximity to the New York City metropolitan area provides farmers with the opportunity to market horticultural products to millions of local consumers.
- Increasing awareness of food security issues and interests in locally produced foods is causing more people to seek out Hudson Valley farm products.
- Hudson Valley farmers survive only as they remain competitive with producers in other regions while farming in an increasingly suburbanized environment.
- The warm, humid climate favors the development of diseases and insect pests not usually found in cooler regions of the state.
- Pests from the south appear first in the Hudson Valley. • Hudson Valley farmers need pest management strategies for mites, insects, plant diseases, and wildlife pests (e.g., deer) that are compatible with the sensitivities of non-farm neighbors from urban backgrounds.
Objectives of Current Research:
- Use plant growth regulators to adjust crop load on apple trees so as to maximize fruit quality, tree health, and farm profitability.
- Increase winter hardiness and reduce cold injury to apple trees through novel use of nutritional supplements and plant growth regulators.
- Evaluate new strategies and products for improved pest management.
- Manage postharvest decay of apples to minimize losses during long-term storage.
- Test disease-resistant apple varieties in a super productive tall-spindle system using organic or sustainable pest management strategies.
- Assess impacts of plant management systems on plant health and productivity.
- Develop management strategies for two newly introduced pests, brown marmorated stink bug and spotted wing drosophila, that are destroying fruit and vegetable crops in the Hudson Valley as they move into the state from the south.