Cornell University's Hudson Valley Laboratory
My program is focused on discovering and evaluating strategies for managing tree fruit diseases and on delivering information about fruit disease management to fruit growers, extension educators, private consultants, and agrichemical companies. Because of my location at a field station in the Hudson Valley, a portion of my research is dedicated to fruit diseases that are more common in southeastern New York than in other parts of the state. In addition to working on diseases that occur in the field, I also study the biology and management of fungal pathogens that cause apple decays after harvest.
The objective of my research is to determine the best ways of integrating pesticides, biological information on pathogens, genetic resistance to diseases, and IPM techniques into cost-effective and environmentally sound pest control strategies for apples and other tree fruits. My annual field evaluations of fungicides provide apple growers with information they need to control apple diseases at the lowest possible cost. Apple pathogens included in my studies are Botryosphaeria species that cause cankers and summer fruit decays, Colletotrichum species that cause bitter rot, Zygophiala jamaicensis, the cause of flyspeck, and Penicillium species that cause postharvest decays of apples. I am also studying Fabraea leaf spot on pears and fire blight of apples and pears. As part of my extension assignment, I am frequently called upon to identify unusual diseases and contributing factors in development of epidemics in commercial orchards and apple storages. Results of my research and seasonal observations on disease development are available to cooperative extension clientele via publication in Scaffolds Fruit Journal, a Cornell Extension publication that is available on-line at
The objective of my extension programming is to provide useful information about diseases on tree fruits to clientele groups that include fruit farmers, extension professionals, private and corporate consultants working with tree fruit growers, and agrichemical company representatives working on development and sales of fungicides. I collect and compile information from a broad range of sources that include journal articles, oral communications from colleagues and consultants, information from the world-wide web, and results of my own applied research. Information from these sources is integrated into my extension publications and oral presentations at fruit grower meetings and at in-service education events where I present information relevant to understanding the preceding season and preparing for the next season. Extension articles and presentations during the past year focused on the following subject matter areas: 1. Approaches for controlling apple scab and other diseases in orchards where the most commonly used fungicide group (SI fungicides) are no longer effective due to development of fungicide resistance. 2. Selecting and timing fungicides for controlling flyspeck and summer fruit decays on apples. 3. Using sanitation and fungicides to control postharvest decays of apples during storage and to reduce risks of contaminating fruit with human pathogens.
Adult education through cooperative extension fruit schools, in-service training events, field tours, web pages, newsletter articles, and telephone and e-mail inquiries