Farm Succession Planning webinar series starts January 26

Feel like your family needs to start talking about the future of the farm, but you don’t know where to start?
Have questions about passing on the farm?

Attend this FREE farm succession planning webinar series for transitioning farmers and junior generation farmers to learn the basics of succession planning, including how to get started, where to find advisors and additional resources, ask questions, and get support on this challenging process. All generations, including family and non-family members, who may play a role in the farm’s future are encouraged to attend. Four-part live webinar series meets virtually on Wednesdays at lunchtime from 11:00am – 1:00pm:

January 26 – Getting Started & Financial Considerations: Resources, Tips and Where to Get Assistance

February 2 – Legal Considerations: Business Entities, and Estate Planning

February 9 – Financial, Retirement & Tax Considerations: Taxes, Viability and Retirement

February 16 – Farmer Panel Successes & Challenges: Several farmers will share their experiences

“With sound succession planning with concrete action steps, it is more likely that the goals and desires of all the

generations involved can be met, and there is a greater likelihood that the farm will stay in farming,” explains Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent at Land For Good.

Instructors include Land For Good’s Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent, as well as guest attorney with expertise in succession planning, Jesse Richardson, Professor of Law, Lead Land Use Attorney, and guest financial specialist Nicholas Bullock, EA, Senior Farm Tax Specialist, Yankee Farm Credit. For more details or to register, go to

Registration gives you access to all the webinars in this series, as well as class worksheets and resource handouts. Webinar recordings will also be made available to watch at your convenience.

Register Now!

Priority for registration given to Vermont farmers. Farmers from across New England welcome to attend as space allows.

Funded with support from individual donors and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

2022 CCE (New York) Tree Fruit Conference Registration

January 27-28, 2021


Cornell Cooperative Extension

2022 NYS Tree Fruit Conference

January 27-28, 2022


Get EARLY BIRD registration rates and save money when you register by January 20th!

Full Programs Both Days

4.0 hrs DEC recertification credits total – see schedule link below for exact times

After months of careful planning, the full program is set and “all systems are go” for our 2nd annual virtual conference. Presented by the CCE Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program and CCE-LOF.

Interested in sponsoring the conference? There are a few sponsor spots available at:

Full conference information is at the conference landing page at:

The full program can be found below and at:

Questions? Please contact Craig Kahlke at 585-735-5448 or cjk37.
Thank you to our Full Conference Sponsors!
Conference general questions? Contact Craig Kahlke at 585-735-5448 or cjk37

Day 1 – Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Session 1: Business Session I: Apple Industry Outlook and Regulatory Updates

7:45 AM Zoom Check-In

8:00 AM Welcome and Announcements – Craig Kahlke, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 min)

8:05 AM Session Introduction – Mark Wiltberger, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 min)

8:10 AM US Apple Outlook – Chris Gerlach, Director of Industry Analytics, US Apple (30 min)

8:40 AM US Apple Advocacy Update – Diane Kurrle, Senior Vice President, US Apple (15 min)

8:55 AM Regulatory Update for New York State – Jim Bittner, New York State Horticultural Society (15 min)

9:10 AM Apple Crop Insurance Policy 2023 Changes – John Fitzpatrick, Crop Growers (30 min)

9:40 AM Break

Session 2: Business Session II: New Technologies and Profitability in Orchard Systems

10 AM Welcome, Introductions, and Vendors – Mark Wiltberger, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 min)

10:05 AM Apple Crop Insurance Policy 2023 ChangesJohn Fitzpatrick, Crop Growers (30 min)

10:35 AM Analyzing Profitability of Your Orchards – Mark Wiltberger, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (30 minutes)

11:05 AM Adopting New Technologies for Your Farm: Evaluating Orchard Management SystemsMark Wiltberger, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (30 min)

11:35 AM Retail Trends – Steve Lutz, Category Partners (30 minutes)

Lunch Break: 12:05 – 1 PM

Session 3: Climate Change, Postharvest, and Marketing

1:00 PM Welcome, Introductions, and Vendors – Craig Kahlke, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 mins)

1:05 PM Adapting New York fruit crops to climate change: temperature effects on winter physiology – Dr. Jason Londo, Cornell University (30 min)

1:35 PM Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere (DCA) for Storage of Organic and Traditional Apple Varieties. – Dr. Chris Watkins, Cornell University (30 minutes)

2:05 PM Marketing and Promotion of Apples from New York – Cynthia Haskins, New York Apple Association (30 minutes)

2:35 PM Break

Session 4: Integrated Pest Management I 1.25 DEC credits – 10, 1A, 22

3:00 PM Welcome, Introductions, DEC credit sign-up, and Vendors – Janet van Zoeren, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 mins)

3:05 PM Brown marmorated stink bug –monitoring and management connections – Dr. Greg Krawczyk, Penn State University (30 min)

3:35 PM Life history of native solitary bees: do I need to invest in honeybees? – Maria van Dyke, Cornell University (20 min)

3:55 PM From citrus (and other crops) to apples – Dr. Monique Rivera, Cornell University (20 min)

4:15 PM A Field Study of How an Applied Stress Impacts the Growth of Virus-Infected Apple Trees – Dan Donahue, CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (15 mins)

4:30 PM Utilizing susceptibility and resistance genes to develop fire blight resistant apples Ricky Tegtmeier, Cornell University (15 mins)

4:45 PM Adjourn

Day 2 – Friday, January 28th, 2022

Session 5: Integrated Pest Management II 1.5 DEC credits – 10, 1A, 22

8:00 AM Zoom Check-In

8:10 AM Welcome, Introductions, DEC credit sign-up, and Vendors – Dan Donahue, CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (5 mins)

8:15 AM Apple scab development and snow cover – Juliet Carroll, NYSIPM (20 min)

8:35 AM Fire blight panel – 2021 Successes and Challenges Dr. Kerik Cox, Cornell University; Mark Russell, Two of Clubs Orchard LLC, Appleton, NY; Rich Breslawski, Charles Breslawski Farms LLC, Hamlin, NY; Andy Vega, New England Fruit Consultants, Montague, MA; Jim Eve, Eve farm Service LC, Naples, NY; and Jesse Mulbury, Northern Orchard, Peru, NY (60 mins)

9:35 AM Beating Back Bitter Rot: Optimizing Management Strategies – Dr. Kari Peter, Penn State University (20 mins)

Break: 9:55-10:15 AM

Session 6: Maintaining High Quality Orchard Soils 1.25 DEC credits – 10, 1A, 22

10:15 AM Welcome, Introductions, DEC credit sign-up, and Vendors – Mike Basedow, CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (5 mins)

10:20 AM Should I apply residual herbicides in the spring or fall? – Mike Basedow, CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program and Janet van Zoeren, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (25 mins)

10:45 AM Microbial community diversity in the apple rhizosphereDr. Gregory Peck, Cornell University; Dr. Mark Williams, Virginia Tech; and Dr. Hazem Sharaf, Virginia Tech (20 mins)

11:05 AM Woodchips as an alternative to herbicide: the case of a Long Island Orchard – Dr. Deborah Aller, Cornell University (20 mins)

11:25 AM Soil Health in Washington OrchardsTianna Dupont, Washington State University Extension (30 mins)

11:55 AM Final Q & A(10 mins)

Lunch Break: 12:05-1:05 PM

Session 7: Managing Crop Load and Tree Fruit Nutrition for Improved Tree Root Growth, Mineral Uptake, Fruit Quality, Color Enhancement, and Storability

1:05 PM Welcome, Introductions, and Vendors – Mike Basedow, CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (5 mins)

1:10 PM Precision crop load management with an emphasis on improving fruit quality, color development, and storability –Dr. Terence Robinson, Cornell University (35 mins)

1:45 PM Rain-exclusion irrigation studies and their effects on stem water potential, fruit size/weight, and color on Gala – Dr. Luis Gonzalez Nieto, Cornell University (12 mins)

1:57 PM The effect of soil physical and moisture conditions on tree root growth and uptake – Dr. Emily Lavely, Michigan State University Extension (20 mins)

2:17 PM Nitrogen Management for improved fruit quality/color development – Dr. Lailiang Cheng, Cornell University (25 mins)

2:42 PM Q/A – (5 mins)

Break: 2:47-3 PM

Session 8: The Use of Reflective Fabrics and Pneumatic Defoliation to Improve Fruit Color of High Value Apple Cultivars in NY State

3:00 PM Welcome, Introductions, DEC credit sign-up, and Vendors – Mario Miranda Sazo, CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program (5 mins)

3:05 PM The importance of diffuse scattering and factors that influence light interception, distribution, and reflection from the ground – Dr. Terence Robinson, Cornell University (10 mins)

3:15 PM The use of ground cover materials to increase fruit color on Honeycrisp, NY-1, NY-2, and Evercrisp – Dr. Luis Gonzalez Nieto, Cornell University (15 mins)

3:30 PM The use of reflective materials and pneumatic defoliation to increase red fruit color in WA State – Lee Kalcsits, Washington State University (35 mins)

4:05 PM Grower Experiences with Fabrics and Pneumatic Defoliation Machines in NYS – Grower panelists Rusty Lamb, Yonder Fruit Farms, Valatie, NY; Chris Whipple, H.H. Dobbins Inc., Lyndonville, NY; Jimmy Zingler, Zingler Farms Inc., Kendall, NY; and Kyle Wafler, Wafler Farms Inc., Wolcott, NY (40 mins)

4:45 PM Conference wrap-up

5 PM Adjourn

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Project planning for postharvest efficiency videos

Happy new year-

UVM Extension Agriculture Engineering has created a series of videos on project planning for postharvest operations that may be of interest to fruit growers. While the videos are largely based on vegetable farms, the principles regarding efficient workflow, sanitary design and operation, and food safety are the same for all produce operations.

You can view the series at:

Where trade names or commercial products are used for identification, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement is implied. Always read the label before using any pesticide. The label is the legal document for the product use. Disregard any information in this message if it is in conflict with the label.

The UVM Tree Fruit and Viticulture Program is supported by the University of Vermont Agriculture Experiment Station, UVM Extension, USDA NIFA E-IPM Program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

Announcement: Winter Webinar Series for Fruit Growers

First, the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association annual meeting will be held online on March 1, 2022 12:00-2:00 PM. Stay tuned for more information.

The Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium is again hosting a series of webinars this winter for fruit producers. Topics may be of interest to apple, stone fruit, grape, and small fruit growers. All webinars are offered free of charge, but attendees must pre-register. Most are approved for pesticide credits in New England and New York.

The present list (more may come) includes:

January 11- Spotted Lanternfly- What you Need to Know

February 1- Fungicide and Streptomycin Resistance in Apple Pathogens- Status and Management

February 8- Spotted Wing Drosophila- Research Updates and Management

February 22- Precision Crop Load Management in Honeycrisp

March 8- Bacterial Spot and Phytotoxicity of Peach

March 15- Herbicides: Materials, Timing and Rates

March 22- Northeast Cider Apple Project

March 29- Plum Curculio Research- Update and Management

More information and registration links may be found at:

Great Gift Idea: Volume II of Vermont Almanac is available Now!

As an author of some of the material in this series- last year on the apple industry, this year on the grape industry and how to prune grapevines- I’d like to suggest this locally-produced, locally-relevant book if you’re still thinking about gifts this holiday season.

Following up on last year’s inaugural edition of Vermont Almanac, Volume II has been published and will be shipping to readers and available in local bookstores the first week of December.

So what’s inside?

All new stories about and by a new cast of Vermont farmers, writers, loggers, artists, scientists, poets, thinkers, and doers. In all, more than 70 Vermonters contributed content to Volume II.

Vermont Almanac, which is produced by For the Land Publishing, a Vermont non-profit organization, tells “stories from and for the land.” It’s an annual look at the people, places, nature, climate, traditions, innovations and resilience of rural Vermont. Past, present, and future. With nearly 300 pages of content, organized into monthly chapters, there’s something (many things, actually) for anyone with an appreciation for this place we call home and our way of life here.

Part of the content is practical (how to set mouse traps for optimal success; how to tell different soil types apart; and tips for telling dangerous cyanobacteria from run-of-the-mill green algae). Part of it is educational (did you know that Vermont-grown grains are being used in Vermont-made breads, beers, and spirits? That grapes and hops are increasingly popular ag products in the state? That mushroom farming is a thing?). There’s a monthly nod to the historical (learn about the Revolutionary-era standoff that set the stage for Vermont to be formed; how the state banned billboards back in the 1960s; the daily life of a farmer in 1915). Some stories are important from a cultural perspective (keeping alive Native American language and charting a future for all races to find a home in rural Vermont). And some content is meant to be just plain enjoyable (read about the joy of pig personalities; the splendor of barn

The list of topics explored in Vermont Almanac, Vol. II, goes on and on: garlic, ginseng, finches, flowers, cow-judging, apple-grafting, syrup-making, chicken-farming…and much, much more. It’s a year’s worth of content that’s perfect for anyone who lives in or just loves rural Vermont.

Vermont Almanac Vol II Press Release (1).pdf

NEVFC and other winter educational opportunities

Good morning:

The New England Fruit and Vegetable Conference, traditionally held every other year in Manchester, NH, will be hosted December 13-17 in an online format- the in-person conference will return next year. There are two sessions on tree fruit (Tuesday 12/14 and Thursday 12/16), plus several other sessions on fruit, vegetable, soil health, climate change, and other topics that may be of interest. Full details on the conference may be found at:

The New England Fruit Consortium, our loose-knit group of regional Extension workers in the region, will again be hosting (roughly) weekly webinars on topics of interest starting on January 11, with a discussion on the spotted lanternfly. Stay tuned for details and registration information.

The Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association annual meeting will be held March 1, 12:00-2:00 PM on Zoom.

More information on all of these activities will be forthcoming. In the meantime, throw another log on the fire.


Remote Produce Safety Training December 8-9

Passing on this excellent and well-timed opportunity for food safety training from Cornell and UVM Extension. -TB

Good afternoon growers,

We hope the end of October is treating you all well. I’m passing along the following training opportunity from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture team, the Harvest New York program, and UVM Extension’s Chris Callahan. Participants from all states and farm sizes are welcome. We encourage all produce growers to attend a PSA Grower Training to learn about food safety practices.

Remote Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course

December 8 and 9, 2021 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM

Held via Zoom

Cost: $30/attendee

Register here by November 19

Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture and Harvest New York programs. See attached flyer for details.

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farms subject to the Produce Safety Rule. All farms are welcome to attend to learn about recommended food safety practices for growing, handling, and storing fresh produce. Course registration fee includes a course manual and certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

Note that this is a remote delivery (Zoom) course. Participants must have access to a device (computer or tablet) connected to internet with functioning microphone and video camera capabilities. High-speed internet (>25 Mbps download, >3 Mbps upload) and Zoom proficiency required. Participant engagement will be monitored throughout the course via audio, visual, and written methods. In order to receive a certificate of course completion, participants must be engaged and present for the entirety of all modules.

If this course date doesn’t work for you but you’re interested in other training opportunities this winter, let me know!


Ollie Cultrara (they/them)

Produce Program Outreach & Education Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets | 94 Harvest Lane, Williston, VT 05495

Cell: (802) 461-5128 | ollie.cultrara

Produce Safety Training flyer_Dec2021.pdf

Pollinator support survey

Passing this short survey on from our UVM Extension colleagues Vern Grubinger and Laura Johnson. They are hoping to have this survey data by November 8.

Hello growers!

We are developing plans for University of Vermont Extension / Vermont Vegetable and Berry Grower’s Association research and education projects aimed at supporting wild pollinators on farms in the Northeast. Kindly complete this short questionnaire within the next week to help us understand your needs and areas of interest. It will take just a couple of minutes. Much appreciated!


Vern Grubinger and Laura Johnson

UVM Extension

Vermont Produce Program Announces Produce Safety Supply Kits

From Gina Clithero at VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets:

The Agency of Agriculture’s Produce Program is providing farms with new containers and cleaning supplies to improve food safety and efficiency. Forty approved applicants will receive a complete Produce Safety Supply Kit, including include a bucket, brush, squeegee, and a custom number of containers based on their request and available supply. Vermont farms that grow, harvest, pack, or hold fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs, or nuts, and are enrolled in the Vermont Produce Portal, are eligible. Farms of all sizes are encouraged to apply. Farms with over $28,561 in average annual produce sales over the past three years will be prioritized.

Apply here: Produce Safety Supply Kit Application:

Deadline to apply: Friday, October 22nd at noon

If your application is selected, you will need to pick up your supply kit at the Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Lab on Wednesday, October 27 or Monday, November 1. Please direct any questions to Gina Clithero at gina.clithero or 802-585-6225.

– – – – – – – – – –

Gina Clithero (she/her)

Agriculture Development Specialist

Vermont Produce Program | Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

116 State St. Montpelier, Vermont 05620-2901

gina.clithero | (802) 585-6225

COVID-19 Updates and Resources Here

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Working Lands Grants & Public Meetings for Ag Community

Passing this on from the VT Agency of Agriculture,, Food, and Markets. I know the timing is tough for apple and grape growers, but it may be good to have a seat at the table.

Public Input Meetings for Agriculture

There are upcoming opportunities on 9/13 and 9/14 to make your voice heard on issues impacting the future of Vermont agriculture:

· Future of Agriculture Public Meeting

  • Monday 9/13, 6-8 pm on Zoom – Register Here
  • The Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture is seeking ideas and recommendations from stakeholders about how State-level actions can help support food access, a robust local food system, business viability, the next generation of famers, the Vermont brand, and inclusion, diversity, and accessibility of Vermont agriculture.

· VT Climate Council Stakeholder Meeting

  • Tuesday, 9/14, 6-8 pm on Zoom – Register Here
  • This meeting is for farmers to learn and provide feedback about the proposed climate mitigation pathways, strategies and actions for agriculture in the Vermont Climate Action Plan. The Agriculture & Ecosystem Subcommittee of the Vermont Climate Council is seeking input on the following questions:
    • Is the subcommittee on the right track with their approaches?
    • What key strategies or ideas are they missing?
    • What two or three strategies or ideas are of concern or worry to you?
    • How would you improve them to address you concerns?

Grants Opening Soon – Working Lands Enterprise Fund

Applications for Standard Business Grants will be accepted between September 21 and November 1. Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 for projects such as:

  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Market development, marketing plans, and sales strategy development
  • Enhancing production and/or manufacturing efficiencies
  • Research and development

Produce farms have been funded in the past for projects related to cold storage, delivery vehicles, tunnels, wash/pack, solar installation, retail, irrigation, on-farm composting, and more.

Additional Working Lands funding opportunities include:

Wishing you the best for the fall harvest season,

Ollie Cultrara (they/them)

Produce Program Outreach & Education Coordinator

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets | 94 Harvest Lane, Williston, VT 05495

Cell: (802) 461-5128 | ollie.cultrara