Current Projects


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs

IPM is a comprehensive approach to pest management for the agricultural community. It considers pest life cycles, reproductive behaviors, and their interaction with the environment to better control pests and reduce the use of pesticides.

Tree Fruit Scouting

Overview: This program provides participating tree fruit producers in Suffolk County with pest traps, mating disruption ties, and in-season pest scouting reports from a Program technician. Pest traps allow for monitoring of which pest are present and in what numbers at any given point during the season. Mating disruption ties are distributed throughout orchards, utilizing pheromones for pest control. Pest scouting reports are sent weekly to growers, informing them of current pest issues so they know what and when to spray for, for more effective pest control. This program helps reduce the number of pesticide applications made by growers during the season.

Shannon checking traps

Nursery Scouting – Privet and Christmas Trees

Overview: The program provides participating nursery producers in Suffolk County with in-season pest scouting reports from a Program technician. Pest scouting reports are sent weekly to growers, informing them of current pest issues so they know what and when to spray for more effective pest control. This program helps reduce the number of pesticide applications made by growers during the season.

Scouting Christmas trees

Nutrient Management programs

PourThru project

Overview: Maintaining proper nutrient levels in container crop production is difficult and many plants are susceptible to soil pH and salinity issues because of incorrect nutrient applications. The PourThru extraction procedure, originally developed by researchers at North Carolina State University, is an easy way to monitor soil pH and EC levels making it a useful nutrient management tool for Long Island nursery growers. By measuring the pH and EC of container crop leachate growers are able to monitor plant nutrient availability and scout for problems. This allows growers to more efficiently and effectively fertilizer container crops. Every two weeks a Program technician collects leachate, takes pH and EC readings, and provides a report back to the grower. Currently seven nurseries in Suffolk County are cooperating on this project.

For more information on the PourThru Extraction Method:

 https://projects.ncsu.edu/project/hortsublab/pdf/PourThru_Master_HIL.pdf

For a step-by-step manual of how to conduct a PourThru:

https://projects.ncsu.edu/project/hortsublab/pourthru/M_M.ht

Katherine conducting Pour Thru Project

Soil Health Champion Farmers

Overview: In partnership with American Farmland Trust (AFT) we are working with Long Island vegetable farmers to adopt and promote practices that encourage greater soil health for reduced nutrient leaching to ground and surface waters, particularly the Long Island Sound. Soil health practices include, but are not limited to, reduced tillage, controlled release nitrogen fertilizer (CRNF), cover crops, organic amendments, and crop rotations. Through on-farm demonstrations and educational and outreach events including a 2018 soil health field day and interactive workshops we aim to educate more farmers on soil health practices for increased adoption.

Corn Field

Soil Health testing services

Overview: This program aims to provide soil health testing services to local farmers interested in monitoring and managing their farms overall soil health over time. Standard soil tests provide farmers with basic soil nutrient information for fertilizer recommendations, whereas soil health tests provide information on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. Soil health is a more comprehensive and holistic view of soil, emphasizing all components of the soil system. By offering soil health testing services to Suffolk County farmers we are gaining a better understanding of exiting soil conditions, which will allow us to monitor changes over time and provide better management recommendations for farmers. This project is in collaboration with Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District (SC – SWCD)

Dom taking a soil sample

Soil Health Equipment Loan Program

Overview: This program assists farmers in conserving and improving the health of Suffolk County’s soils for the long-term by covering the costs of purchasing and maintaining conservation oriented agricultural equipment. It aims to promote greater adoption of agricultural best management practices among Suffolk County farmers. This program is in partnership with the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District (SC – SWCD)

Reduce Tillage Equipment

Last updated July 26, 2019