Stephen Reiners

Stephen Reiners

Professor
and Chair

109 Hedrick/134B Plant Science
(315) 787-2311

My research and extension efforts are designed to maintain and enhance the profitability and sustainability of New York vegetable farmers, both for the short and long term. My short-term projects are designed to provide growers with the best cultural methods to grow crops, i.e., fertility management; irrigation; optimizing plant populations; and variety selection for the processing vegetable industry. Long-term projects include fine-tuning cover crop use to maximize nutrient recycling and reduce disease incidence; improving fertilizer recommendations; and determining how variety selection and fertility practices affect disease tolerance.

Research Focus

Currently, my research is focused on several areas. Since 2001, a devastating virus has reduced yield in snap beans causing significant and costly losses. We are looking at existing and new snap bean varieties that exhibit tolerance to the disease and that growers can use to minimize losses. I am also evaluating a preseason nitrogen test currently used in field corn production for its usefulness in vegetable systems, particularly sweet corn. I am also testing cover crops to determine effective types and ways to incorporate them into farming systems in an effort to minimize Phytophthora blight in vine crops and peppers. Finally, our work identifying little utilized but potentially profitable crops in New York (sweet potatoes, seedless watermelons) continues, as does research to determine optimum plant populations and stand establishment for more traditional crops.

Outreach and Extension Focus

I serve as the Cornell liaison to grower organizations and organize annual advisory meetings to gather industry priorities for use by faculty and extension educators for grants and projects. I organize the annual Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo, a 2-day statewide meeting that attracts more than1,000 people. The meeting is designed to communicate the newest innovations in the industry to our stakeholders. I am co-team leader for the Western N.Y. CCE Cornell Vegetable Team and the Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program. As Department Extension Leader, I mentor new hires (faculty and CCE educators) in programs and resources available to them and organize in-service educational activities. I also provide science outreach to local elementary schools which includes a Science Summer Camp for students entering 4th grade.

Teaching Focus

Nutrition of vegetable crops and general vegetable culture.

Awards and Honors

  • Best Paper (2013) American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS), Northeast Region

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Dunn, A. R., Wyatt, L. E., Mazourek, M., Reiners, S., & Smart, C. D. (2013). Performance and tolerance to Phytophthora blight of bell pepper varieties. HortTechnology. 23:356-363.
  • Kikkert, J. R., Reiners, S., & Gugino, B. K. (2010). Row width, population density and harvest date effects on marketable yield of table beets. HortTechnology. 20:560-567.
  • Camp, A. R., Lange, S., Reiners, S., Dillard, H. R., & Smart, C. D. (2009). Tolerance of hot and sweet pepper lines to Phytophthora blight. Plant Disease Management Reports. 3:V018.
  • Camp, A. R., Lange, H. W., Reiners, S., Dillard, H. R., & Smart, C. D. (2008). Tolerance of summer and winter squash lines to Phytophthora blight. Plant Disease Management Reports. 3:V022.

Book Chapters

  • Bihn, E. A., & Reiners, S. (2010). Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices for Vegetable Production. Handbook of Vegetables and Vegetable Processing Wiley-Blackwell Publ Co, Ames, Iowa, USA.

Conference Proceedings

  • Hsu, C., Reiners, S., Hoepting, C. A., & Nault, B. A. (2011). Relationship between nitrogen rate, thrips and yield in New York. Proceedings of the 2011 Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo. Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York State Vegetable Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York State Vegetable Growers Association, Syracuse, NY 3 pages p.
  • Reiners, S., Ballerstein, J., & Shail, J. (2010). Evaluating NYS snap bean varieties for CMV susceptibility., Ithaca, NY 51-53 p.
  • Hsu, C. L., Hoepting, C. A., Reiners, S., & Nault, B. A. (2010). Impact of nitrogen on onion thrips populations and implications for management. 2010 Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo, NYS Farmers’ Direct Marketing Conference and Becker Forum, 2010 Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo, NYS Farmers’ Direct Marketing Conference and Becker Forum, Syracuse, NY, USA 118-120 p.
  • Reiners, S., Ballerstein, J., & Shail, J. (2009). Evaluating NYS processing snap bean varieties for CMV susceptibility. Proceedings of the 2009 Empire State Fruit and vegetable Expo, Proceedings of the 2009 Empire State Fruit and vegetable Expo 91-93 p.

Extension Bulletins

  • Reiners, S., Petzoldt, C. H., Nault, B. A., Zitter, T. A., Bellinder, R. R., Halseth, D. E., Helms , M. J., Landers, A. J., & Curtis, P. D. (2011). Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production. p. http://www.nysaes.cals.cornell.edu/recommends Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, NY.