Marion Zuefle, M.S., has joined the staff of the New York State IPM Program as a vegetable IPM educator. Zuefle, who previously served as a NYS IPM vegetable implementation specialist and fruit survey technician, will work closely with growers and researchers around New York and the Northeast.
More recently, Marion has taken responsibility for the sweet corn pheromone trap network, an important resource for farmers, extension educators, and consultants throughout the state. She’s improved the network’s web interface for reporting results and created resources to help cooperators deploy traps and identify catches for accurate results and recommendations. And she’s obtained funding for research to help determine whether spotted wing drosophila, a known pest of small fruit, also poses a threat to tomatoes.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will host a Greenhouse Education Day October 30 in Binghamton, N.Y.
Among the speakers are Betsy Lamb, Cornell University IPM Program on Algae in Propagation Lines and Neil Mattson, Department of Horticulture on Interesting Trends and Winning Plants from the Spring 2013 California Spring Trials. View full program.
Cost is $50 per person and includes all handouts, refreshments and lunch. DEC credits are available in the following categories: 1a, 3a, 10 & 24 – 3 credits each.
“Impressive.” “The best workshop I’ve ever been to.” “She was committed to my success every step of the way.”
Accolades like these have earned Elizabeth Lamb the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program’s (NYS IPM) Excellence in IPM award. This award honors people who make outstanding contributions to preventive and least-toxic tactics for dealing with pests.
As ornamentals coordinator for NYS IPM since 2006, Lamb has provided scores of workshops for 2,000-plus nursery and greenhouse growers, Christmas tree farmers, and landscapers — people working in industries collectively worth nearly $200 million per year to New York’s economy, and that at wholesale prices.
“Betsy’s workshops are always full with waiting lists of people who’d like to attend,” says Mark Bridgen, director of Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. “These people don’t hesitate to speak their minds. It’s a true indicator of Betsy’s success when the leaders of New York’s ornamental plant industry go out of their way to let it be known that they’re impressed.”
Damage to fruit by spotted wing drosophila (SWD) — an introduced pest from East Asia — is expected to increase this season. In response, Cornell researchers and extension educators have trap network covering some 30 counties around the state to keep tabs on the pest. (As of June 7, none have been reported.)
The crops at highest risk for SWD infestation include fall raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. June-bearing strawberries may escape injury, but late summer fruit or day-neutral varieties may suffer damage. Cherries, both tart and sweet, elderberries, and peaches are also susceptible. Thin-skinned grapes can be infested directly, though cracked or damaged berries are more susceptible.
Abby Seaman presents Steve McKay with an Excellence in IPM award.
Neither Rain nor Mud nor (Etc.) Earns IPM Award for Cornell Farm Manager by Mary Woodsen, NYSIPM program.
Three days after Tropical Storm Lee blew through the Northeast in early September 2011, turning streams into rivers, then lakes, getting a tractor into the waterlogged research plots at Cornell University’s Thompson Research Farm was an obvious no-go. So farm manager Steve McKay slipped on a backpack sprayer and slogged through the muddy fields bordering Fall Creek.
McKay was helping test a new “decision support system,” which predicts if or when growers need to spray to protect crops from late blight, a deadly plant diseases. McKay’s team supports research to help growers use softer fungicides and only as a last resort—a principle that’s key to IPM, or integrated pest management.
And the next day—a Saturday—he was back again in the cab of a backhoe, digging temporary drainage ditches to salvage what he could of the experiment.
Now for his dedication, expertise, and leadership, McKay has earned an Excellence in IPM Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, which seeks least-toxic solutions to pest problems, including plant diseases.
“Working with Steve is an absolute delight,” says William Fry, professor of plant pathology at Cornell University, noting that McKay is indispensable in evaluating late-blight forecasting systems. “With his help, we’ve got data on late-blight resistance in nearly 100 potato and tomato cultivars.”
McKay manages 70-plus acres of trials for as many as 15 different scientists on 15 to 20 different crops, say horticulture professors Robin Bellinder and Don Halseth. McKay does “an astounding job of caring for our research trials,” they say. “We can’t think of a better person to receive the Excellence in IPM award.”
McKay receives his award on February 11 at Cornell’s Horticulture Seminar Series.
McKay teaches vegetable production class about the inner workings of a planter.
When Susan & Tom Palomaki started Lucas Greenhouses in 2005, they didn’t want to be tied to routine spray schedules. So they hired Debbie Palumbo-Sanders to help them find a better, gentler way to cope with pests. We caught up with Susan and Debbie at the 2012 Cornell Floriculture Field day after they accepted their Excellence in IPM award from the New York State IPM program.
GENEVA, NY: Susan and Tom Palomaki knew that greenhouses provide perfect moisture and warmth, not just for plants, but for pests. But in 2005 when they bought Lucas Greenhouses in Fairport, NY, with over a million plants under one roof, they didn’t want to be tied to the weekly spray routines commonly used to combat greenhouse pests.
The Palomaki’s first priority—finding a better, gentler way to cope with pests. Which led to their first permanent new hire—Debbie Palumbo-Sanders.
Palumbo-Sanders’s background in plant pathology and plant science, coupled with her enthusiasm and curiosity, made her a natural for the job. Plus: she knew the core principles of integrated pest management (IPM) and was eager to learn more. Now the Lucas Greenhouses team has received an Excellence in IPM award for their leadership in promoting IPM to greenhouse growers statewide as well as to their customers.
Among the IPM tactics well-suited to greenhouses is biocontrol. Because greenhouse conditions are ideal for them, too, these predatory insects or pathogens can really wallop pests. But although IPM growers can cut way back on the time and money spent spraying greenhouses, says NYS IPM educator Brian Eshenaur, working with tiny, sometimes microscopic living critters involves a learning curve.
Lucas Greenhouses has become a major player in the mentoring circuit. They help the large wholesale growers who supply them—and even other retailers—get a handle on the sometimes-tricky tactics it takes to succeed at biocontrol.
“We definitely see the ripple effect,” says Tom Palomaki. “Suppliers are sending us cuttings they’ve grown using biocontrols.” Which means many other retailers are getting the same high-quality, low-impact cuttings too.
“That’s what’s so wonderful about these folks,” says Eshenaur. “They go out of their way to help other growers learn how to keep those biocontrols healthy and productive.”
And if you’re a Lucas customer, Eshenaur says, you can’t miss the colorful banners hanging in the center aisle, explaining what IPM is and why it’s so important for plants and people too. “When garden clubs come through for tours we can just see the light bulbs come on,” says Palomaki.
“Some growers are hesitant to explain about biocontrols because then their customers know there are bugs, good and bad, at that greenhouse,” Eshenaur says. “But when I’m out there what I see is healthy, vigorous plants. It’s a case of what you see is what you get, in the very best sense.”
The NYS IPM Program is excited to announce 3 professional job openings.
These appointments are for 6-9 months. However, there is potential for extension into long term positions. A Masters or PhD degree in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, natural resources or a closely related field is required. These positions are being announced in June 2012, and will be filled as soon as suitable candidates are found. If interested in multiple positions, please indicate in the cover letter.