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Pests and diseases

Greenhouse/High Tunnel Vegetable IPM webinars coming in February and March

From Betsy Lamb, NYS Integrated Pest Management Program:

Save the Dates!  We want to be on your calendars for the New Year!

We will be holding a series of short webinars on Greenhouse/High Tunnel Vegetable IPM on Thursdays from 12-1 in February and March.  The intent is for each topic to be briefly covered and then followed by discussion:

  • Feb 2: Introduction to the project
  • Feb 9 and Feb 16: Basics of light, water fertility, media as they relate to pest management
  • Feb 23: Vegetable crop production in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 2: Disease management in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 9: Insect management in greenhouses and high tunnels
  • Mar 16: Weed management in greenhouses and high tunnels, especially in winter production
  • Mar 23: How to write/use an IPM plan

Zoom information for each webinar will be coming soon.   All webinars will be recorded in case you can’t attend in person.

During the week of April 24 we will hold a training session in Geneva to follow up on these webinars. More information to follow on that, too.

We will advertise these programs broadly but if you want to be sure to be included in any future emails, please let me know:

Two Spotted Spider Mites in High Tunnels and Greenhouses

From Judson Reid, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program. This article originally appeared in VEGEdge (Volume 12, Issue 12, July 6, 2016). Reposted with permission.

Two Spotted Spider Mites (TSSM) are at high levels in many greenhouse/high tunnels across the region. The pest has risen to damaging populations in crops such as peppers, onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Often they are in high numbers on weeds, which serve as green bridges into vegetables. When not controlled, TSSM will destroy a crop.

Look for stippling, or small white dots on the surface of foliage. TSSM, their webs and eggs can be found on the underside of leaves, except when in very high numbers when they will move throughout the canopy. For many, a 10x hand-lens will aid in scouting.

tssm on tomato

Two spotted spider mints on high tunnel tomato. Mites, webbing and feeding damage visible. Photo: Judson Reid, Cornell Vegetable Program.

TSSM overwinters in New York State in the soil or crop debris. Controlling weeds and reducing dust (with mulch) are the first preventative steps.

Biological control is possible with TSSM and releases of predators must begin very early. Phytoseiulus persimilis can be effective, but requires high relative humidity to survive, so may require repeat releases. Other beneficials to control TSSM includ Feltiella acarisuga and Amblyseius californicus. The benefits of biological control include reduced labor and no PHI/REI concerns. Biocontrol is suitable for both conventional and organic farmers. The spray options for organic control are limited to oils that encapsulate the mite when applied at high pressure to the underside of foliage. Biocontrol, when deployed early is an excellent option.

Conventional sprays can be effective, but again acting early is best. We seek materials that are effective, labeled for greenhouse use and have PHIs that allow regular harvest.  The following products are approved for greenhouse use in NYS:

  • Danitol 2.4 EC (PHI 3 days, REI 24 hours)
  • Agrimek (PHI 7 days, REI 12 hours)
  • Portal (PHI 1 days, REI 12 hours)

Field growers beware: Dry weather favors mite infestations outside, too.

Video: Moving a high tunnel

From the Cornell Vegetable Program.

High tunnel growers face a unique set of soil management challenges.

  • Intensive cropping minimizes opportunities for fallow periods, cover cropping and other techniques for maintaining soil health and fertility.
  • The plastic covering prevents rain from leaching the profile, leading to excess salts and alkalinity.

By choosing a moveable tunnel design, like the one in this video, a grower can grow a protected crop continuously while allowing for fallow periods, cover cropping and movement of excess salts through the soil profile. Moveable tunnels can be moved laterally (as shown) or pulled lengthwise to cover an already established crop (ie. move the tunnel from summer tomatoes over fall greens).

NY High Tunnel Conference December 8

 A wide variety of tunnel topics will be covered at this workshop Tuesday, December 8 at the  Woodcrest Community, 2032 Route 213, Rifton, NY.  Come hear updates from the CU tunnel team on their projects, funded by the New York Farm Viability Institute.

  • High Tunnel Vegetables, Berries and Cut Flowers
  • Winter Spinach Production
  • Budgeting
  • Farm tour of winter greens high tunnels!

Click here for details:

Call Teresa Rusinek at 845-340-3990 or email 





Raspberry skeletonizer in eastern N.Y. high tunnels

Raspberry skeletonizer damage in high tunnelFrom Laura McDermott, Regional Agricultural Specialist, Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program of Cornell Cornell Cooperative Extension-Washington County, Hudson Falls, NY email:

Click on images for larger view.

An unidentified raspberry skeletonizer is causing problems in high tunnel raspberries in eastern New York. No culprit apprehended as yet. The damage is located in areas that have more leaf litter. Feeding occurs on emerging primocanes right down to leaf mid-ribs. The aggressive feeding is preventing primocane development, which will be a problem for next year!

Raspberry_skeletonizer damage in high tunnel

Raspberry_skeletonizer damage in high tunnel

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