App aids apple farmers in fight against spring freezes

February’s warm weather was nice in the Northeast, but apple farmers may pay a price when winter roars back. To help growers assess precarious temperatures in turbulent springs, the Cornell University Institute for Climate Smart Solutions has developed a new Apple Freeze Risk decision tool. Apple trees need dormancy and cold weather so that springtime buds develop […]

‘Climate-smart soils’ may help balance the carbon budget

Here’s the scientific dirt: Soil can help reduce global warming. While farm soil grows the world’s food and fiber, scientists are examining ways to use it to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. “We can substantially reduce atmospheric carbon by using soil. We have the technology now to begin employing good soil practices to […]

Ag Dean: Cuomo planting right seeds for continued growth in NYS

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday included a number of new initiatives designed to promote agriculture and food quality – and through them the economic vitality – of New York State. Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, praised […]

Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ this century

Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “megadrought” – one that lasts over 30 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century. The study by Cornell University, University of Arizona […]

Famine fear won’t sway minds on GM crops

ITHACA, N.Y. – A sack-hauling time traveler from the 21st century lands in an Irish potato field in 1849, just before a terrible famine, and asks: If you thought genetically modified potatoes could avert late blight disease, spare a million countrymen from starvation and keep another million from emigrating off the Emerald Isle, would you […]

Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops

ITHACA, N.Y. – With news reports of toxic, cadmium-tainted rice in China, a new study describes a protein that transports metals in certain plants and holds promise for developing iron-rich but cadmium-free crops. Iron and cadmium are both found in soil and are interchangeably taken up by iron transporters in plants. Pollution and heavy fertilizer […]

Predators delay pest resistance to Bt crops

ITHACA, N.Y. – Crops genetically modified with the bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) produce proteins that kill pest insects. Steady exposure has prompted concern that pests will develop resistance to these proteins, making Bt plants ineffective. Cornell research shows that the combination of natural enemies, such as ladybeetles, with Bt crops delays a pest’s ability to […]

GMO labels: Echoes of debate beyond Washington State

Margaret Smith is a professor of plant breeding and genetics focusing on developing genetic materials to improve corn productivity. She leads an extension program to help farmers and the general public better understand plant breeding and genetic engineering. Following the rejection of GMO labeling bill in Washington State, Smith comments on the results, the ongoing […]

New micro water sensor can aid growers

Crop growers, wine grape and other fruit growers, food processors and even concrete makers all benefit from water sensors for accurate, steady and numerous moisture readings. But current sensors are large, may cost thousands of dollars and often must be read manually. PHOTO: https://cornell.box.com/WaterSensor Now, Cornell University researchers have developed a microfluidic water sensor within […]