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Consequences of Failure in Albany

July 29, 2010

Cornell University has the world’s leading experts on agricultural science. They do extraordinary things – everything from developing new varieties of crops to ensuring food safety. 

One of the things the Cornell “Aggies” did, but will no longer be doing because of state budget cuts is prepare a bi-monthly crop status report, which was distributed to fruit and vegetable farmers across the state. 

Perhaps this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is very significant to farmers. 

The report would alert farmers to outbreaks of plant disease or pests. It would give tips on how to spot problems and how to deal with them. It was filled with detailed information on things like ear worms, leaf hoppers, downy mildew and blight. 

General information on pests and plant diseases will still be available at Cornell’s Vegetable MD website, <http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/Home.htm)> but farmers won’t have the regular updates on outbreaks or detailed advise on how to deal with them.  There won’t be the same early warning system that helped contain problems before they became widespread and led to major crop damage that could hurt farmers and raises prices to consumers. 

This is just one of many consequences of the continuing failure of state government to get its financial house in order. We came by this information by accident and it caused us to wonder how many other good programs and services are being closed down because of the impasse in Albany.

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