About Us

 
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The HVRL is an independent 501(C)(3) organization, providing growers with a non-biased approach to research and problem solving.

Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been a key partner since 1923. Since 2013, FARM has been a model for public-private partnerships in support of agricultural research.

Over the years, FARM retained its strong tree fruit research programs, focused on disease and insect pest management while increasing support of horticulturalproduction practices, diversifying further into commodity research on small fruit, vegetables and regional grains.

Our research and extension outreach program is directed by Cornell University’s Departments of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, and Horticulture, located at FARM in Highland, NY. We are a part of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY, with the laboratory building owned by a non-profit cooperative tree fruit grower organization (FARM). This cooperative partnership with the College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) has provided agricultural Research and Extension on Tree Fruits and Vegetables in the Hudson Valley since 1923. Research-based information continues to be provided to New York farmers through educational programs organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension and participating associations.

Horticultural plant protection programs at FARM are especially important to sustaining the viability of agriculture in the Hudson Valley and the Northeast as agricultural production is ultimately the best way to preserve open space and economic stability in the rapidly developing corridor between Albany and New York City.

2013-2015 Report: Summary of Research and Extension Activities

2016-2017 Bi-Annual Report: Summary of Research and Extension Activities

 

 

Agriculture In The Hudson Valley

 
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The soils, climate, and topography of the Hudson Valley are well suited for fruit production. Despite increasing urbanization, the Hudson Valley supports more than 500 fruit and vegetable farms that occupy more than 18,000 acres. Farmgate revenues at these farms exceeded $105 million in 2007. Ulster County has the second largest apple crop among all counties in New York State.

The lower Hudson Valley encompasses several river-bottom and black-dirt regions that support a concentration of sweet corn and onion farms. Fresh-market sweet corn is produced in the Roundout and Wallkill River Valleys. To the south in Orange County, organic soils created by an ancient lake now support black-dirt farms that encompass 5000 acres ideally suited for producing onions and other vegetable crops.

Many farms market directly to consumers via U-pick, farm stands, and farmers markets in New York City and other towns and cities.

 

 

History of the Lab

 
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May 22, 1923
New York State Governor signs legislation enabling the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) at Geneva to establish a field station for agricultural research in the Hudson Valley “for the experimental study of the problems of increasing the production and controlling the diseases and injurious insects of the horticultural crops of the Hudson River Valley”.

1923-62
Cornell Scientists working in the Hudson Valley are initially based in Highland, then on the campus of Vasser College, thereafter, at two locations in Poughkeepsie.

1942
The local fruit industry organizes the Horticultural Research Cooperative (later named the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, Inc.) to provide assistance and leadership in finding appropriate facilities.

1962
After fire guts the Poughkeepsie laboratory, the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory Inc. arranges to purchase land and construct a new laboratory. Cornell University agrees to lease, equip, and staff the new buildings and to purchase additional acreage adjacent to the site for research plantings.

1963
Scientists move into the new facility at the current location in Highland.

1964
Experimental orchards are planted on the first 20 acres of land purchased by Cornell University and located on the hill behind the laboratory.

1974
The Hudson Valley Research Laboratory Inc. underwrites an addition to the original laboratory that nearly doubles available space for offices and laboratories.

1991
Cornell University constructs a modern facility to support pest management research in   the orchard.

2013
The Hudson Valley Laboratory celebrates the 90th anniversary of Cornell’s commitment to Hudson Valley agriculture. The FARM partnership model has transitioned to facilities being fully funded by the agricultural community with faculty and staff funded by Cornell University of Ag. & Life Science.

2014
New partnership between Cornell University and the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, Inc. is formed to promote continued funding, staffing, and operations of the Hudson Valley Lab.

 

 

Employment Opportunities & Internships

 
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Summer Internships

Positions are available on a seasonal basis beginning in early spring and continuing through late summer or fall.
Scientists at FARM employ three to five college students each year to assist with field research trials and lab projects. While most internships occur during the summer, some opportunities are available year round.

Students in these positions have unique opportunities for hands-on experience with agricultural research under the tutelage of experienced scientists who are committed to solving applied problems for agricultural producers.

The work can be challenging and often involves outdoor work during the heat of summer and repetitive lab procedures that represent the “grunt work” of the scientific enterprise. However, summer employees gain an insider’s perspective to scientific research and may find the experience useful in defining their own career interests.


Job description

Assist the department faculty with research on aspects of tree physiology, nutrition, biology and control of insect and mite species and diseases on apple, pear, peach, plum and cherry trees. Duties include collecting data from field and lab experiments, entering data in computer files, maintaining cultures and greenhouse plant specimens, tree training and pruning, fruit evaluations, and orchard maintenance.

Dates available: Mid-May through at least Aug. 20, with possible extension until Nov. 1.

Hours: 39 hr/wk; usually 8 AM-5 PM, Mon-Fri., with a 1 hr lunch.

Rate of Pay: $11-$13/hr depending on qualifications, experience and funding availability.

Requirements: Applicants must have completed high school and college-level coursework and lab experience are preferred. A valid driver’s license is required. Previous experience with field work and use of microscopes are appreciated. Physical demands include extensive periods of microscope work, willingness to work outdoors in a variety of summer weather conditions, and lifting and carrying apple crates weighing approximately 50 lb. Applicants must be able to work until Aug. 20.

Interested applicants should send a professional cover letter, resume, and list of references to:

Erica Kane
E-mail: Erica Kane ek538@cornell.edu


Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Research Laboratory
P.O. Box 727
Highland, NY 12528

Phone: 845-691-7151

 

 

2018 Spotted Wing Drosophila Intership: Use of Exclusion Netting and Attract & Kill Stations in Primocane Raspberries

In collaboration with the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program (ENYCHP) FARM Lab Director, Peter Jentsch, has an grant-funded opportunity for a 2018 summer intern to lead fieldwork efforts for a new project “Preventing SWD Infestation in Primocane Raspberries with the help of Exclusion Netting and Attract/Kill Technology.” 

SWD is Spotted Wing Drosophila is an invasive vinegar or fruit fly of East Asian origin that had made its way into New York by 2011.  While it can infest the fruit of many plants, but is most attracted to raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and other late-season, soft-flesh.  SWD lay eggs inside fresh fruit, often before harvest. After only a few days, the fruit skin becomes dimpled or wrinkled, forming craters in the fruit. Without control measures, late season raspberries, blackberries and blueberries can suffer upwards of 80% crop loss. 

The 2018 project will focus on assessing the effectiveness of using exclusion netting to prevent SWD from access to berry bushes in combination with Attract and Kill technologies to lure SWD away from crops and to areas where traps have been set up.  This site work will be preformed primarily at 3 partner farms in the Hudson Valley.

The intern will have primary responsibility for setting up and maintaining netting and Attract/Kill stations on site at 3 participating farms in the Hudson Valley; will take berry samples; collect insects occurring in berries and in traps and work to ID them (using bio keys and microscopes as needed); and raise SWD found in fruit in laboratory setting.

The possession of a clean license and driving experience is required.  Relevant lab and field work experience greatly desired, including experience raising insect populations in laboratory settings, performing insect identifications, and in working with non-scientific partners (in this case in a agricultural setting.) The ideal candidate will be a driven, self-starter who will take ownership of this project for the duration.  Support will be provided by HVRL Lab Director Peter Jentsch and ENYCHP’s Laura McDermott

This will be a full-time, paid position for 11-weeks with the possibility of an extension depending on performance and the availability of funding.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter, by email to Erica Kane at EK538@cornell.edu  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with a tentative start-date of June 1, 2018.

 

A complete position description can be found here