New York State IPM Program

September 13, 2018
by Karen English
Comments Off on Spotted Lanternfly Enters New York State

Spotted Lanternfly Enters New York State

It’s unfortunate that we must spread the news that living Spotted Lanternflies have been detected in New York State, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Here is the text of the press release published by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets:

DEC and DAM Announce Confirmed Finding of Spotted Lanternfly in Albany and Yates Counties

State Agencies Encourage Public to Report Findings of Invasive Pest

Red is ever a reminder to other critters: this might be toxic. (Photo Penn State)

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets (DAM) today confirmed that spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia, has been found in Albany and Yates counties. A single adult insect was discovered in a vehicle in the Capital District. In addition, a single adult insect was reported on a private Keuka Lake property in Penn Yan, Yates County.

“DEC and our partners at the Department of Agriculture and Markets are closely tracking the spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive pest, as part of our ongoing efforts to prevent its establishment and spread in New York. This pest has the potential to severely impact our state’s agricultural and tourism industries,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “We are encouraging the public to send us information to bolster our efforts—they are our eyes on the ground.”

Following both reported cases, DEC and DAM immediately began extensive surveys throughout the area. At this time, no additional insects have been found. DEC and DAM urge New Yorkers to report potential sightings to

To read more, please follow this link:

June 28, 2017
by Karen English
Comments Off on Pruning berry bushes to minimize destructive pest habitat

Pruning berry bushes to minimize destructive pest habitat

Examine your caneberry (raspberries and blackberries) plantings for conditions that promote spotted wing drosophila (SWD) infestation and take steps to eliminate them. Although we cannot change the weather, we can alter conditions in the planting to reduce the cool, dark, humid areas preferred by SWD. Pruning and training systems can help maintain an open canopy to increase sunlight and reduce humidity. This will make plantings less attractive to SWD, will reduce SWD activity, and will improve spray penetration and coverage.

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), an invasive insect originally from Asia, was first reported in the Northeast in 2011. Since 2012, adult SWD have been causing wide-spread injury to some berry crops in NY where management measures are not being used. Unlike most fruit fly species, SWD attack ripening and ripe fruit.

Bumblebee on raspberry

Bumblebee pollinating pruned and trellised raspberry.

Pruning tactics for caneberries have been developed to achieve excellent fruit yield and open the canopy. Knowing different pruning strategies will help you manage SWD. Added benefits include improved fruit color and flavor promoted by sunlight, easier picking by workers and customers, and easier weed management.

Caneberries (brambles) grown in the Northeast include red and black raspberries and blackberries; all are susceptible to SWD infestation. However, fruiting season differs among cultivars, which influences the risk of infestation.

  • Summer bearing varieties develop berries on floricanes that grow the prior year and overwinter. Fruit ripens and is harvested in early to mid-summer, prior to SWD population buildup, lowering the risk of infestation.
  • Fall bearing varieties develop berries on primocanes that grow, flower, and fruit in the same year. Fruit ripens and is harvested in late summer and early fall when SWD populations are high and risk of infestation is extreme.
  • Plants developing berries on floricanes and primocanes haven’t had floricanes removed after fall fruiting. Fruit ripens and is harvested from early to mid-summer on the floricanes and from late summer to early fall on the primocanes. The risk of SWD infestation will be low early in the harvest season and will increase as the summer progresses and the SWD population builds up.

Pruning suggestions for summer bearing varieties

Summer raspberries – maintain 4-5 healthy floricanes per foot of row.

Blackberries – maintain 3-4 healthy floricanes per foot of row.

Black raspberries – maintain 6-8 floricanes per hill.

Everbearing – maintain 4 primocanes and 4 floricanes per foot of row.

Floricanes should be held upright with a trellis to facilitate spray coverage and air circulation. Holding fruiting canes to the outside on a V-trellis will keep them to the outside of the growing primocanes and facilitate spray coverage and harvest.

Prune out the smallest primocanes beginning when they are 12 to 18 inches high to select and keep the biggest and best canes. Keep a few more than the suggested cane density per foot of row or per hill. Begin removing spent floricanes in July along with any late emerging primocanes. In November, laterals on black raspberry and blackberry primocanes can be cut back to 3 or 4 buds.

Pruning suggestions for fall bearing varieties

Maintain 4-6 primocanes per plant on a trellis.

Encourage early fruiting by placing row covers over the row after mowing in the spring. Remove the row covers when the primocanes are 18 inches tall. This will bring on flowering about two weeks early and help avoid or minimize SWD damage.


Nourse, N. 2015. Raspberry pruning timeline. Nourse News. Spring:2-3.

Pritts, M. 2013. Horticultural strategies for living with SWD. New York Berry News 12(10):1-2.


This blog post, written by Juliet Carroll (NYS IPM), was originally posted as Pruning caneberries to minimize SWD habitat within the planting here on June 27, 2017.

July 14, 2016
by Karen English
Comments Off on Register now! Cornell Fruit Field Day

Register now! Cornell Fruit Field Day

The registration deadline is Friday, July 15, for the Cornell Fruit Field Day, which will be held Wednesday, July 20. Walk-in registration won’t be available.

Register now!  Register on the Cornell Fruit Field Day Event registration page.

The Cornell Fruit Field Day will be in Geneva, NY on Wednesday, July 20. The 2016 version of this triennial event will feature ongoing research in berries, hops, grapes, and tree fruit, and is being organized by Cornell University, the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Fruit Program Work Team, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. All interested persons are invited to learn about the fruit research under way at Cornell University.  Attendees will be able to select from tours of different fruit commodities.The event will feature a number of topics, including:


Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) research update | Hummingbird use | SWD monitoring network | Exclusion netting against SWD in fall raspberries | Monitoring and SWD management decisions in summer raspberry & blueberry | Behavioral control of SWD with repellents and attract & kill stations | Effect of habitat diversity on ecosystem services for strawberries | High tunnel production of black and red raspberries | Day-neutral strawberries and low tunnel production

Tree Fruits

Apple breeding & genetic studies | Research updates on fire blight, apple scab, powdery mildew | Bitter pit in Honeycrisp | 3D camera canopy imaging | Ambrosia beetle management trials | Malus selections for cider production | Precision spraying in orchards | Role of insects in spreading fire blight in apples | Bacterial canker of sweet cherry | Rootstocks & training systems for sweet cherry | NC-140 rootstock trials on Honeycrisp & SnapDragon | Pear rootstocks & training systems

Grapes & Hops

Sour rot of grapes | VitisGen grape breeding project | Precision spraying in grapes | Managing the spread of leafroll virus in Vinifera grape using insecticides & vine removal | Early leaf removal on Riesling | Overview of NYSAES hops planting | Powdery & downy mildew management in hops | Hops weed management & mite biocontrol | Update on malting barley research

Also food safety information!

FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) Produce Safety Rule

Fruit Field Day details

The event will take place at the NYSAES Fruit and Vegetable Research Farm South, 1097 County Road No. 4, 1 mile west of Pre-emption Rd. in Geneva, NY.

Arrive at 8:00 AM to get settled in. Tours begin promptly at 8:30 AM and are scheduled in the morning from 8:30 to 11:30 and in the afternoon from 1:30 to 5:00. Lunch will be served at the exhibit tent area between 11:30-12:30.

Luncheon speakers are Dr. Susan Brown, Director of the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES), and Dr. Kathryn Boor, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Visit sponsors anytime from 11:30-1:30! Learn about products and services from Agro Liquid | Arysta Life Science | Dow AgroSciences | Dupont | Farm Credit East, ACA | Finger Lakes Trellis Supply | LaGasse Works, Inc. | Lakeview Vineyard Equipment | NY Apple Sales | OESCO, Inc | Red Jacket Orchards | Superior Wind Machine Service | Valent USA Corp. | Wafler Farms | beer tastings from War Horse Brewing and Nedloh Brewing

Register now!

Admission fee is $50/person ($40 for additional attendees from the same farm or business). Your admission covers tours, lunch and educational materials. Pre-registration is required. Walk-in registration won’t be available. Register on the Cornell Fruit Field Day Event registration page.

January 27, 2016
by Karen English
Comments Off on Dear Turfgrass Managers

Dear Turfgrass Managers

The Cornell Turfgrass Team is asking for your input. We want to know how you prefer to access turfgrass management information, what information is important to you, and how you think it should be paid for. Please take the Cornell Turfgrass Information Survey and pass the link onto others in NY’s turfgrass industry.

The survey should take 5 minutes or less, and your response will help shape how Cornell presents and delivers turfgrass management information.

This survey is funded by NY State’s Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Funds.

Thank you!
Jennifer Grant and the Cornell University Turfgrass Team

January 19, 2016
by Karen English
Comments Off on Excellence in IPM Awards: Announcing 2015 Winners

Excellence in IPM Awards: Announcing 2015 Winners

Each year we seek nominations for recipients of the New York State Integrated Pest Management (NYS IPM) Program’s “Excellence in IPM” awards, which recognize exceptional IPM practitioners who do exceptional work. And when the nominations come in, we’re reminded again of the dedication and support of so many whose work truly makes a difference for the people of New York and often well beyond.

Please read the details about our awardees, Toni DiTommaso, Renè Fiechter, Lou Lego, Sandra Menasha, the Pheromone Trap Network, Dale-Ila Riggs, John Sanderson, Lee Telega, and Peter Ten Eyck, at our press release here.

November 3, 2015
by Karen English
Comments Off on Cornell Forest Entomologist Tackles Tough Pests, Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Cornell Forest Entomologist Tackles Tough Pests, Earns Excellence in IPM Award


Mark Whitmore with assistant gathering data on Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

ITHACA, NY. November 3, 2015: Emerald ash borer. Hemlock woolly adelgid. These pests pack a one-two punch for New York’s 18 million acres of forestland. Now, for his hard work and dedication in slowing the spread of these formidable pests, Mark Whitmore — a forest entomologist at Cornell University — has received an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM) at Cornell University.

Indeed, Whitmore was the “Paul Revere” of sneaky invasive pests such as emerald ash borer and hemlock wooly adelgid long before they crossed the state line, says Brian Skinner, senior arborist with National Grid, an electric transmission distributor in New York and New England. Like other transmission companies, National Grid is deeply concerned by the potential damage that borer-killed ash trees could cause our electric system.

“Mark has been an avid and welcomed presenter to those of us in New York’s utility vegetation management industry,” Skinner says. “Often addressing small crowds with NIMBY attitudes, he offers a hope of preservation. He never gives up, becomes despondent or changes his message.”


Mark Whitmore receiving the Excellence in IPM award from NYS IPM Director Jennifer Grant

Dr. Hilary Lambert, executive director of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and well aware of the value of hemlock trees to watershed health, couldn’t agree more. “Mark has been ready to help the public at every step of the way in developing outreach materials, volunteer events, and teams to monitor for the adelgid, not only in the Cayuga Lake basin but widely across the state.” Lambert says. “His emphasis on effective solutions, not despairing hand-wringing, has been especially welcome.”

Whitmore’s work is built around classic IPM techniques: prevention and monitoring, biological controls — the predators and parasites of these two pests — and, if needed, low-toxicity pesticides. “Mark’s meticulous research brings together all the strengths of IPM; of truly integrated pest management,” says Jennifer Grant, director of NYS IPM. But it’s his passion for his work that really makes the difference, Grant notes. “Whether it’s volunteer citizen-science groups, utility companies, or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, people look to Mark for the information and expertise they need,” Grant says. “He speaks for the trees.”

Whitmore received his award at on November 3 at Cornell University’s Ag In-Service training before dozens of his peers.

by Mary Woodsen

June 11, 2015
by Karen English
Comments Off on Black Widow Spiders – Not Just a Southern Thang!

Black Widow Spiders – Not Just a Southern Thang!

Every so often the local news reports that a dangerous spider was found in supermarket-bought fruits, such as grapes and bananas from South America. Black widow spiders have appeared in the Northern part of the United States where, presumably, these spiders do not belong! And it’s newsworthy.

What many people do not know is that a native species of black widow, the Northern black widow spider, exists as far north as Ontario, Canada. They have been recorded in several Northeastern states. Compared to its cousin, the Southern black widow, the Northern widow is somewhat rare in its native range, but loves the same habitats, including barns, sheds, basements, wood piles, greenhouses and other dark, damp corners of the human environment. The Northern widow can be distinguished from the Southern species by the red hourglass spot on the underside of the abdomen. Northern species have a distinctly separated hourglass, while the Southern spider’s is joined. Northern widows also have white markings and red spots on the top of the abdomen. Both species have a body length of about ½ inch, long legs and a globe-shaped abdomen.

black widow spider

Northern Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus variolus) underside view, displaying red hourglass marking. Photo from Michigan State University Diagnostic Service

The venom of each widow species is similar and can cause reactions ranging from pain in the abdomen, sweating and nausea to serious systemic reactions like weakness, tremors, muscle spasms, and in extremely rare cases, death. Basically, you want to avoid being bitten. But widow spiders are reclusive and usually retreat when provoked. People are bitten when widow spiders are cornered (in a shoe or glove) or handled. Many times, people don’t even know that they have been bitten until the pain begins.

On a recent IPM visit to a plant nursery in Staten Island, we identified a healthy population of Northern black widow spiders living in the corners of greenhouses, underneath benches and in folds of cloth lining planting beds. Workers reported seeing these spiders for years, yet nobody has ever been bitten. Our IPM recommendations were to:

  1. Clean out spider webs, spiders and the egg sacs (perfectly round, tan balls hanging in webbing) with a broom or power-washer on a regular basis.
  2. Increase light and decrease moisture whenever possible and especially where people are working.
  3. Raise awareness among workers to look for spider habitat and recognize spiders and egg sacs. It was also advised that employees wear gloves when working with plants and soil.
  4. As a last resort, a pyrethrum or pyrethrin spray can be used to knock down spider numbers and the insects they dine on in greenhouses.

Ordinarily we don’t see a need for controlling or killing spiders because they are beneficial and generally harmless to people. In this case, no worker has ever been bitten by a black widow, despite their long-term presence in this nursery. Precautions, such as live spider and egg sac removal and spider awareness among workers, may be all that is needed to protect people from spiders and pesticides that may otherwise be used for black widow spider control.

Authored by Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, NYS Community IPM Coordinator

February 27, 2015
by Karen English
Comments Off on Take Action to Support Ag IPM

Take Action to Support Ag IPM

GREAT NEWS! The NY Farm Bureau has included us on their e-advocacy site—making it very easy for you and others to voice your support for restoring Agricultural IPM funding to previous levels.

Farmers have relied upon Integrated Pest Management (IPM), for decades.  IPM allows farmers to target pests and diseases in an efficient, profitable, and environmentally sensitive manner by utilizing the best and latest innovations in research and extension.  The IPM program received a 50% funding cut in 2010, and is now seeking a return to prior year’s budgets.  Please take a moment to support this important program in the 2015-16 State Budget.

Please help! Simply go to the Farm Bureau’s Action Alert website, select the delivery method, fill in your contact information, and submit—it’s that easy.

April 17, 2014
by Karen English
Comments Off on Tick Checks and More — Stay Healthy and Happy While You’re Outside

Tick Checks and More — Stay Healthy and Happy While You’re Outside

Gardening. Hiking. Camping. The delights of spring after a tough winter. But spring also brings … deer ticks and the threat of Lyme disease.

Not every tick carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. But enough do to make proper clothing and even repellents an essential part of your daily outdoor routine — and careful tick checks (along with showers and clothes driers) an essential to your indoor

Deer Tick Lifecycle

Deer Tick Lifecycle



Ticks have a complicated life cycle, too — often catching the bacteria from infected mice, squirrels, chipmunks, or voles during their first year, then going dormant till the following year, when as adults they climb into high grass or bushes for their next meal, be it from a deer, a dog — or a person. Nor can they do without blood, because it’s what they need to lay their eggs.


April 10, 2014
by Karen English
Comments Off on Go wild for wild bees!

Go wild for wild bees!

Join the Northeast Pollinator Partnership! A lesson scientists can learn from citizens, especially apple growers, is which native bees are pollinating their apple blossoms and where. Apple flowers need pollen from another flower in order to be fertilized (don’t blush!). Indeed often the pollen has to come from another apple tree of a different variety. For more information on that, read Pollination and Fruit Set of Fruit Crops.

Andrena sp.

Mining bee, Andrena sp. Photo by Cheryl Moorehead,

The Northeast Pollinator Partnership wants perspectives and opinions from Northeast apple growers, consultants, researchers, extension educators and backyard apple growers. Created by Bryan Danforth, Professor in the Department of Entomology, Cornell University, the Northeast pollinator partnership, seeks to assess grower support and willingness to participate in a citizen science project on apple pollination. The goal is to implement a data collection website for smartphone apps where people can report bee observations during bloom in their orchards. Visit the NE Pollinator Partnership website to learn more and express your support.

A great deal of work is being done at Cornell University on wild pollinators. What Danforth’s lab has learned is that wild bees are better at pollinating apples than honey bees. Although, they don’t make honey! A recent article in the Cornell Chronicle, Native bees are better pollinators, more plentiful than honeybees, finds entomologist, describes their work. The pollinator partnership will ultimately provide the knowledge base from which to create an app that farmers can use to predict their need for pollination services to grow the delicious apples we so love to eat.

Native bees and how to encourage them in crop production is also being explored by the research labs of Brian Nault, for pumpkins, and Greg Loeb, for strawberries. Learn more about wild pollinators from the Entomology Department at Cornell and while there, download the popular bulletin, Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and how to conserve them.

Please visit the Northeast Pollinator Partnership to join us in building our understanding of the biodiversity, abundance, and value of wild bees.

Author: Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator

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