New York State IPM Program

New Perennial Crops for Weed Suppression and Carbon Sequestration

October 19, 2020 by Debra E. Marvin | Comments Off on New Perennial Crops for Weed Suppression and Carbon Sequestration

 by Bryan Brown, PhD

Farmers tell me all the time – “If only my crops could grow like weeds!” Well that’s just what happened to Jonathan Bates, owner of Food Forest Farm, who noticed that some of his edible perennial plants were taking over his garden. These are big and robust plants that smother our usual weeds – perfect for low-maintenance gardens. So he starting cutting back these plants and selling the rootstock online.

Jonathan Bates holds a large leaf from a Princess Tree

Jonathan Bates holds a leaf of a princess tree, a plant that provides high-nitrogen forage through fall leaf drop. He uses this plant to provide shade in livestock pastures.

Excited by the idea of crops that outcompete weeds, I recently toured the farm with Jonathan. He showed me thick stands of edible perennial brassicas like horseradish, sea kale, and Turkish rocket; thriving carrot-family perennials like skirret and giant Korean celery; and leguminous plants like wild senna, Illinois bundleflower, and Astragalus that serve as high-nitrogen forage for livestock while also providing pollinator resources and building soil fertility.

Jonathan Bates sits in front of a large perennial vegetable.

No weeds there! Several edible perennial brassicas show promise as robust weed suppressive crops.

A huge advantage with perennials is that you don’t have to rototill the ground every year to prepare for planting. That has big benefits aside from being a labor-saver. Any time the soil is tilled, it accelerates decomposition of organic matter and loss of carbon to the atmosphere. Whereas perennial plantings serve as a carbon sink by sequestering atmospheric carbon into plant tissue that eventually becomes soil organic matter. Such “carbon farming” is starting to become big business as a means to forestall climate change.

With so many benefits to these perennial crops, I think it’s just a matter of time before we see more farmers start growing them – and we start seeing them on our dinner plates!

 

graphic showing photo of Bryan Brown and his information. Email him at b r y a n dot b r o w n at cornell dot edu

 

 

 

September 22, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Cover Crop’s Double Success for Soybeans

Cover Crop’s Double Success for Soybeans

photo of cereal rye grass cover crop

Mature fields of grain crops moving in the wind is a lovely sight. Having admired the beauty of ‘cereal rye’ in a field, I asked NYSIPM Integrated Weed Management Specialist Dr. Bryan Brown if rye has been part of successful weed suppression efforts.

The answer is yes, but even better, there’s anti-fungal benefits too. Continue Reading →

September 11, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Ticks and Their Pathogens in New York State– New Findings Released

Ticks and Their Pathogens in New York State– New Findings Released

A scientific paper, Active surveillance of pathogens from ticks collected in New York State suburban parks and schoolyards (2017-2018), was published in July of 2020. Four NYSIPM Staff– Dr. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, Joellen Lampman, Dr. Elizabeth Lamb, and Dr. Matt Frye are among the authors. The increasing number of cases of tick-borne disease prompted this work, and its success will help identify their risks to New Yorkers’ health and the health of their pets and livestock.

photo shows Joellen Lampman using a tick drag on school property to monitor for ticks

Why? The goal of this study was to highlight the importance of active surveillance for tick-borne pathogens, by describing their prevalence in ticks collected from school yards and suburban parks, and to guide the use of integrated pest management in these settings. Continue Reading →

September 4, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Blue Spruce: Threats and Remedies

Blue Spruce: Threats and Remedies

Guest Post by Nancy Cusumano

photo shows bare spots in blue spruce tree

Failing branches and needle drop is a sad sign of problems on this once-beautiful blue spruce.

 

There’s a blue spruce tree right outside my bedroom window. It is one of the first things I look at every morning (along with my husband, of course). I can see if it is sunny, rainy, or snowing. This tree was a very dense, full tree that has harbored several bird nests over the years.

This spring, however, I noticed that I could see right through the tree where I never could before. I think it lost maybe half its needles over the winter. Many branches are completely bare. When I went looking at other blue spruces in my yard, I noticed a similar pattern. Continue Reading →

August 21, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on AIR QUALITY: Pest Management, when pests are too small to see

AIR QUALITY: Pest Management, when pests are too small to see

A recent EPA nationwide webinar, What Schools Need to Know: Practices and Principles for Healthy IAQ and Reducing the Spread of Viruses, focused on indoor air quality in school settings. Air quality was important before the current pandemic but is now central to the back-to-school issue.  For today’s post we’d like to share some EPA and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation resources. Some highlights: airborne disease is not the only issue. Proper surface cleaning and air filtering must be addressed. Products used to kill virus organisms are not just ‘disinfectants’, but pesticides, so their labeled directions must be followed. School buildings across the country vary widely in age, size, and management budget, making indoor air quality an important subject long before SARS Covid-19.

graphic showing pages available in the EPA air quality site

Indoor Air Quality has never been so important. In addition to its usual IAQ resources, EPA has created a specific Covid-19 webpage.

graphic shows portions of two labels of common cleaning wipes with a note to keep out of reach of children

The Label is the Law. Read the label on very common containers of disinfectant wipes!

The major takeaway from this webinar’s experts? Using a combination of tactics is crucial to success. Continue Reading →

August 14, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on SPOTTED LANTERNFLY HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED IN NYS: Here’s what you should know..

SPOTTED LANTERNFLY HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED IN NYS: Here’s what you should know..

The NYSIPM program, along with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and the Department of Environmental Conservation have been monitoring for Spotted Lanternfly since its first occurrence in PA in 2014. In preparation, we developed educational resources for New Yorkers. Partnering with affected states, we’ve maintained a map tracking its spread and quarantines across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.

photo of five SLF adults

Adult spotted lanternfly on tree trunk (photo, B. Eshenaur)

Now, as of August 14, 2020 has confirmed a living population of spotted lanternfly on Staten Island. Because pests don’t care about borders, experts anticipated this introduction into the state and put in place the groundwork needed to keep ahead of this invasive. Continue Reading →

August 4, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on CICADAS and CICADA KILLERS… subtitled… “Is This A Murder Hornet?”

CICADAS and CICADA KILLERS… subtitled… “Is This A Murder Hornet?”

2020 is proving to be a…ahem…wild year.  The unusual, big eyed creatures we know as the PERIODICAL CICADA or CYCLICAL CICADA–particularly those known as Brood IX by U.S. Entomologists–made their debut in the late spring of 2020.  Male cicadas make a lot of noise to attract a mate and in big brood years, that can be a lot of noise. (NPR’s CICADA article may be of interest!)

While big cicada emergence years like this one and the one in 2013 are noteworthy, that doesn’t mean that cicadas can’t be found each year. Otherwise, the impressive CICADA KILLER WASP would have a long wait. Understanding the difference between three large insects of the hornet and wasps family has never been more important: 1) cicada killer wasp, 2) European hornet, and 3) Asian giant hornet.

As of August, 2020, there are NO ASIAN GIANT HORNETS in the northeast.  What you might see are Cicada Killers or European Hornets, so we’re back with more photos. (see our blog post  Dog Day Cicadas and the Wasps that do them in!)

Below: CICADA KILLER WASP: Earlier this year, ‘murder hornets’ became a big topic. To bring some wisdom to the discussion, we provided some facts (see blog post: Asian Giant Hornets). Now, with August being the prime time to see cicada killer wasps and European hornets in action, murder hornets are news again, and still not in NY!

Please don’t kill these large but very low risk cicada killer wasps.

photo of cicada killer wasp

CICADA KILLER WASP up to 1.5″ with a  rusty red head and thorax, russet colored wings, and a mostly black pointy abdomen, marked with (generally) three yellowish stripes.

Continue Reading →

July 30, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on People are Talking About Gypsy Moths

People are Talking About Gypsy Moths

ADAPTED FROM A GREAT ONLINE RESOURCE!!  THE FOREST PEST HANDBOOK is a publication of the NYSIPM Program and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, authored by Elizabeth Lamb and Jennifer Stengle Lerner.

graphic is a screenshot of the cover of the FOREST PEST HANDBOOK showing a tree canopy.

People around the state are noticing gypsy moths…

Specifically European Gypsy moth — Lymantria dispar dispar

(Note: The Asian gypsy moth is a concern in some parts of the United States but is NOT currently an invasive pest in New York.)

The European gypsy moth was accidentally introduced into Massachusetts in l869. By 1902 this pest was widespread in the New England states, eastern New York, and regions of New Jersey.

Generally from late July through early September, female moths will lay egg masses on bark, firewood, exterior of campers and outdoor equipment and be easily transported. The gypsy moth is an important insect pest of forest and shade trees in the eastern United States. Heavy defoliation by the larval stage of this pest causes stress to infested host plants. Adult male moths are dark buff and fly readily during the day. Females are white with black, wavy markings, have robust abdomens, wingspans up to 2 in ches (50 mm) but do not fly. 

photo shows adult gypsy moths. Male is dark and female is light colored.

USDA APHIS PPQ , USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org ,
male(left) and female (right) Asian gypsy moths – shown for comparison

photo is of a female moth with an egg mass on tree bark

Female moth with egg mass. Photo: Brian Eshenaur

Egg masses may be found on trees, rocks and other surfaces from early April through mid May. They are light tan, and the eggs inside are black and pellet like. Each mass may contain 400-600 eggs.

photo shows gypsy moth egg cases on tree bark

Gypsy moth egg cases. from the NYSIPM Flickr account.

The larval stage (caterpillar) is hairy, and a mature larva is 2-2.5 inches (50-65 mm) long with a yellow and black head. Behind the head on the thorax and abdomen are five pairs of blue spots (tubercles) followed by six pairs of brick red spots. Young larvae feed on foliage and remain on host plants night and day.  Around mid April, larvae emerge from egg masses. In late May, when about half-grown, larvae change their behavior and usually feed in the trees at night, and move down to seek shelter in bark crevices or other protected sites during the day. Larvae molt numerous times until full grown at 2-2.5 inches.  Larval feeding is THE STAGE WHEN TREE DAMAGE OCCURS. Feeding on leaves can last for up to six weeks. Look for defoliation of host trees. You may also hear frass dropping from trees (believe it or not…), though that may come from feeding by other species of caterpillars. Caterpillars may move down into bark crevices during daytime and return to canopy feed at night.

photo shows multiple gypsy moth caterpillars on tree bark

USDA Forest Service – Region 8 – Southern , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

photo of larva

this caterpillar is making short work of this leaf! photo: Brian Eshenaur

The pupal stage is dark reddish-brown and is held in place to some object by small strands of silk. Pupation is generally in July or early August. This year, adults have been seen in July.

photo of gypsy moth larvae

Larvae photo: (Bugwood) Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

photo of a pupal case

Photo: Brian Eshenaur

illustration of gypsy moth life cycle.

Borrowing from our friends over at University of Illinois Extension.

Which tree species does this pest damage? PLENTY!

Alder (Alnus spp.) Aspen (Populus spp.) Gray birch (Betula populifolia) White birch (B. papyrifera) Hawthorn (Crateagus spp.) Larch (Larix spp.) Linden (Tilia spp.) Mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) Oaks (Quercus spp)Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra) Willows (Salix spp.) Witch-hazel (Hamamelis spp.) Beech (Fagus spp.) Red cedar (Juniperus spp.) Chestnut (Castanea spp.) Hemlock (Tsuga spp.) Plum (Prunus spp.) Pine (Pinus spp.)

What to do? The time to act is/was when egg masses can be found and destroyed  (fall, winter and spring), or when young larvae can be reduced in numbers. If you’ve seen a lot of adult moths, you might want to take a look for egg masses on your trees in the fall and winter. 

Suggestions from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

This Cornell Fact Sheet from the Horticulture Diagnostic Lab in Suffolk County provides more details and management tactics. Updated 2017

July 24, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on SIGN UP FOR OUR CONFERENCE: School IPM 2020: Where We’ve Been and What’s Next

SIGN UP FOR OUR CONFERENCE: School IPM 2020: Where We’ve Been and What’s Next

A Virtual Two Half-Day Conference

When: Mornings of August 11 & 18, 2020

Where: We will be connecting via Zoom.

How: Click Here to Register

Cost: $15 per person or $25 per school district

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR CREDITS AVAILABLE:

NYSIPM Conference 2020 pesticide recertification credits

NYS Pesticide Applicator recertification credits have been awarded for the following categories: Core, 3A, 3B, 7A, 7F, and 8. Individuals seeking credits will need to submit their applicator ID numbers when pre-registering. Further instructions will be sent upon pre-registering.

Despite decades of promoting school integrated pest management (IPM), bed bugs, cockroaches, lice, and mice continue to be a problem in schools. Part of the issue is lack of implementation of proven IPM techniques such as exclusion. Part of the issue is that some pests, like bed bugs, German cockroaches and lice arrive in backpacks, delivered supplies, and directly on students and staff. While schools often have plans in place to address these pests when they are discovered, it will take a wider community effort to prevent their introductions.

The Sixth Annual NYS IPM conference brings together a wide range of speakers to address and discuss the status of school IPM adoption and where we need to go in the future. If you or your family is impacted by pests or pest management on and off school property, this virtual conference is for you.

Alejandro A. Calixto, our new NYS IPM Program director, will be introducing the conference with remarks on “Perceptions of IPM and Today’s Social Climate.”

Our keynote speaker, Lorraine Maxwell, will discuss “Healthy Environments for Learning”. Her research has found that school building conditions, which include conducive conditions for pests as well as the presence of pests, impact the school’s social climate, which directly impacts student performance.

cartoon of a bed bug, tick, and cockroach who are disappointed to see they are not allowed to go to school. The tick has a mouse pull-toy, and the cockroach has a corona-virus balloon. The bed bug holds a lunch bag.

Conference Agendas

Day 1, August 11, 2020
8:00 Registration: Please Note: if you answered yes during pre-registration to needing pesticide credits, it is important to log into the conference at this time to show your applicator card with picture ID via webcam
8:30 Welcome and Introductory Remarks: Alejandro Calixto, Director, NYS IPM Program at Cornell University, “Perceptions of Integrated Pest Management and Today’s Social Climate”
8:45 Keynote Presentation: Lorraine Maxwell, Associate Professor Emerti, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University, “Healthy Environments for Learning”
9:30 The Status of IPM Implementation within NYS Schools

  • Lynn Braband, Retired, NYSIPM Program
  • Daryl Andreades, Senior Architect, NYS Department of Education
  • Claire Barnett, Founder and Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network
  • Fred Koelbel, NYS School Facilities Association and Port Jefferson School District
10:50 Break
11:15 Panel Discussion
12:15 Concluding Remarks and Adjourn
Day 2, August 18, 2020
8:00 Registration: Please Note: if you answered yes during pre-registration to needing pesticide credits, it is important to log into the conference at this time to show your applicator card with picture ID via webcam
8:30 Welcome & Recap of August 11 Session
9:00 Virtual “tabling” event: Five-minute presentations by partnering organizations describing the services they provide schools.
9:45 What We’re Doing – Community Interventions. Models of community-level pest management. What may we learn from these examples as applied to school pests with strong community connections?

  • 9:45    Dina Fonseca, Rutgers Center for Vector Biology: Community-Level Mosquito Control
  • 10:15   Paul D. Curtis, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University: Community-based Deer Management in New York State
  • 10:45    Robert Corrigan, Corrigan Consulting, Briarcliff Manor, NY: Identifying and Understanding the Rodent Vulnerable Areas (RVAs) of Schools: Essential for Sustainable IPM
11:15 Break
11:30 Break Out Groups: Identifying Strategies for Interventions for School Pests with Strong Community Connections. Moderated by NYS IPM Program staff, participants will identify common pathways by which targeted pests are introduced to schools and will develop interventions that will prevent or reduce those problems. Participants will also interact about the roles of collaboration, communication, and education in implementing the interventions. Essentially the goal of the break out group will to begin the development of an IPM program for the targeted pest at the community level. One group each will address bed bugs (moderated by Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann) and cockroaches (moderated by Matthew Frye and Amara Dunn). A third break out group (moderated by Joellen Lampman) will begin the process of establishing school IPM priorities, both in school buildings and on school grounds, for NYS, using the School IPM Priorities of the Northeastern U. S. as a starting point.
12:15 Report and Wrap-Up: The break out groups will each give a brief oral report on the results of their interactions; followed by a general discussion and concluding remarks.
1:00 Adjourn

Sponsors:

July 16, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on A Visit with Amara Dunn, NYSIPM BioControl Specialist

A Visit with Amara Dunn, NYSIPM BioControl Specialist

Amara Dunn was hired for the new BioControl Specialist position just about three years ago.

Since then, she’s gone from focusing on ‘learning the ropes’ and creating goals for the position… to being in high demand by staff (and New Yorkers) on both the agricultural and community sides of our program!

Amara, how does your work here at the IPM Program fit the career you imagined when you entered college?

When I started college I really had no idea what I wanted to do, except that I liked biology but didn’t want to be a medical doctor. You could say that my work at NYSIPM (across a broad range of commodities and settings) is kind of the culmination of exploring and honing my interests through a variety of professional and volunteer experiences during and after college. My eclectic job responsibilities have also reminded me that we learn something from pretty much all of our experiences, even the ones that don’t ultimately lead to a career.

Who do you see as the main audience for your current work?

I am trying very hard to provide materials for a broad range of audiences. For example, I’m doing a lot of work currently on conservation biocontrol (protecting and feeding the “good bugs” you’ve already got) and pollinators like bees and butterflies. All of these beneficial insects need the same things, but taking care of beneficial insects looks different in a back yard than it does on a farm. I’m trying to provide cost and “how-to” information for both groups. I think on some level most people I’ve interacted with – farmers, home gardeners, people who enjoy spending time outdoors – have similar questions and goals. They want to know how to solve pest problems, and they care about protecting people and the environment while they do it.

The newly created Beneficial Habitat Plots provides an ongoing rich resource for understanding how we can encourage beneficial insects that might reduce pests.

What is most rewarding about your work in pest management?

Helping people. Hands down. Being able to answer questions or provide needed information that ultimately has a positive impact on peoples’ lives brings me so much joy.

photo of Amara with cooperative extension staff at the beneficial habitat plot field day

What do you most enjoy doing in your non-work time?

Broadly speaking, I would say that I like creating. I have always loved growing plants, and I’m really enjoying planning and implementing new gardens around the house I just bought. And, yes, these gardens do include plants that support beneficial insects. I’m also using them as “virtual demonstration plots” to show how one might support beneficial insects around their homes (and some of the pitfalls when trying to do this). Over the past few years, I’ve been cultivating (pun intended) an interest in cut flowers. I love having fresh flowers in my home or office, and like being able to share them with others. But I also enjoy cooking and knitting/crocheting. And I like to mix my interests. There are a wealth of patterns out there for people wanting to knit or crochet arthropods. I’ve even tried making my own pattern when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

graphic shows four photos of animals knitted by Amara

photo of a flower arrangement

Given a month to travel or work on something you enjoy, where or what would it be?

Honestly, I’m pretty ambivalent about travel. I could take it or leave it. But when I do travel, I like to visit local gardens, parks, or museums and try delicious local food!

What biocontrol topic or pest problem do you anticipate on your horizon in the next year or so?

Sadly, I suspect it’s inevitable that spotted lanternfly will become established in NY. We’ve done a great job of delaying that inevitability (kudos to everyone – professionals and lay people – for all your hard work!), but it probably is an inevitability. One of the hoped-for benefits of delaying this pest’s establishment is that we’d have more tools (including biological tools) for managing it by the time it got here.

map of Spotted lanternfly distribution along the east coast

What biocontrol concern has captured your interest for future research?

I’m really interested in learning and documenting the efficacy of biocontrol strategies in the field so that we can give growers specific answers about how to use strategies to reduce risks to people and the environment. For example, how large an area of flowers, which flowers, and how close to the crop do you need to plant them to reduce pest damage? Or, which conventional pesticide sprays can be replaced with biopesticides to maintain good pest control while maintaining profitability. These are really big questions, and I certainly can’t answer them all by myself. There’s a lot of great research already being done on these questions here in NY and elsewhere.

Absolutely. Being part of the NYIPM Program lets us see so much of what’s going on regionally to reduce pest risks and help the environment! Thank you, Amara, for allowing us to share more about you and your role at the NYSIPM Program!

Amara’s office is on the Cornell AgriTech campus but you may have seen her or met her at a variety of conferences and workshops over the last three years. Follow her blog BIOCONTROL BYTES or her Twitter and professional Instagram accounts!

graphic with Amara's contact information. her email is arc55@cornell.eduis

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