[MUSIC PLAYING] MARVIN PRITTS: The Cornell berry team is the only comprehensive team in the Northeast. A breeder, a horticulturist, a plant pathologist, and an entomologist all working together to solve problems for the industry.
JULIET CARROLL: We focus on how to grow the crop, how to protect the crop from insects and diseases, so growers can provide you with the most delicious berries you've ever tasted in your life.
COURTNEY WEBER: Cornell has been breeding varieties of strawberries and raspberries since the 1800s, and we have a long track record of breeding varieties that do well in our climate. There's a lot of traits that all have to come together-- the right firmness, color, and flavor. The plant needs to be vigorous. It needs to have root rot tolerance. It needs to have tolerance to leaf diseases.
KERIK COX: We bring a lot of management practices to the grower, things that we learn in the field, so that they can implement them in a safe and sustainable manner while minimizing potential risk of drug resistance and antibiotic resistance in the pathogens.
JULIET CARROLL: We work together to develop disease predictive models to reduce pesticide inputs on crops, so they know exactly when to apply sprays based on the weather.
We have focused a lot on spotted wing drosophila. This invasive insect devastated the berry industry.
GREG LOEB: Most fruit flies, like the ones you find in your kitchen, they can't really get into fruit until it starts breaking down. But the spotted wing-- the female, she's able to insert a serrated egg-laying device into the skin a fresh fruit. It's still a serious pest, growers are spending a lot of money on it, and there's still problems to solve.
COURTNEY WEBER: The whole team, now, has been working together on different aspects of production so that we can introduce more advanced production techniques to New York growers. Summertime in the Northeast has always meant berry season. And consumers expect it, and they want it.
MARVIN PRITTS: The impact that we have extends far beyond New York state. Some of our raspberries, at some points, were the most widely-grown raspberries in the world. And figuring out how to produce the highest yield and the best quality has all come out of the Cornell program.
KERIK COX: And our berry team would like Cornell Agritech to become the premier research center for translational research helping stakeholders, not only in New York, but also throughout the nation.
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The Cornell berry team supports New York state’s $20 million berry industry.