New York State IPM Program

August 29, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Accepting Nominations for 2019 Excellence in IPM Awards

Accepting Nominations for 2019 Excellence in IPM Awards

This graphic is a replica image of the Excellence in IPM Award plaque given awardees.

 

Exceptional people are everywhere — innovators and natural leaders whose work really does change the world. With IPM, it’s about intelligent pest management — about supporting and protecting New York’s agricultural and urban communities as they cope with pests and pesticides both. Each year we award people or organizations who:

  • develop new tools and tactics to speed the adoption of IPM
  • encourage demonstrations of IPM methods on their farms
  • promote IPM in their businesses, schools, and communities
  • bolster the adoption of IPM practices through their organizations or educational programs
Photo shows Dr. Jennifer Grant awarding a plaque to Mike Hunter for his Excellence in IPM Award.

NYSIPM DIrector, Dr. Jennifer Grant awards Mike Hunter his Excellence in IPM award during a recent field crops meeting.

We Give Awards: IPMers Who Make a Difference

The NYS IPM Program (nysipm.cornell.edu) seeks nominations of people working in agricultural IPM (fruit, vegetables, ornamentals, and livestock and field crops) and in community IPM (schools, homes, landscapes, turf, and municipalities). New Yorkers involved in communicating about IPM through the media are also eligible.

Criteria for Nomination:

Candidates for an Excellence in IPM Award are individuals or organizations whose IPM work in New York State deserves special recognition. Excellence in IPM Awards recognize effort in:

  • developing new IPM tools;
  • implementing or evaluating IPM methods in their operations, businesses, or organizations;
  • encouraging demonstrations and adoption of IPM;
  • promoting IPM and bolstering the adoption of IPM practices; or
  • educating others about IPM.
Photo shows Excellence in IPM Award winner Keith L. Eggleston and NYSIPM Fruit IPM Coordinator, Dr. Juliet Carrol

Excellence in IPM Award winner Keith L. Eggleston with NYSIPM Fruit IPM Coordinator, Dr. Juliet Carroll

IPM award winners work with the NYS IPM Program, commodity groups, Cornell Cooperative Extension, private organizations, schools, the NYS pest control industry, and in other settings to help develop and promote the use of IPM.

For more information visit our website or use this link for nominations.

Curious about 2018’s awardees?

 

July 31, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Onion Growers Put Skin in the Game, Earn Excellence in IPM Award

Onion Growers Put Skin in the Game, Earn Excellence in IPM Award

Elba onion growers, Matt Mortellaro, Guy Smith, Chuck Barie, Emmaline Long, and Mark and Max Torrey received an Excellence in IPM Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. The six are muck onion farmers in Elba, NY who meet weekly during the growing season for what is known as Muck Donut Hour, to discuss crop protection tactics.

Photo of recipients of Excellence in IPM Awards and Cornell staff.

Elba muck onion growers received their awards for Excellence in Onion Integrated Pest Management from New York State IPM in a small roadside ceremony appropriately at Muck Donut Hour this week. Flanked by Brian Nault, Cornell Onion Entomologist on the left, and Christy Hoepting, Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program Onion Specialist on the right are award recipients, Chuck Barie (CY Farms), Peter Smith (filling in for award winner Guy Smith with Triple G Farms), Emmaline Long (CY Farms), Matt Mortellaro (G. Mortellaro & Sons), Jennifer Grant (Director of NYIPM) and Max Torrey, Torrey Farms. Missing from photo was Mark Torrey.

Onions grown in muck soil—organically rich former swampland where production practices are unique and intense—are one of the most valuable crops in New York, with an average value of $34.6 million. In the Elba muck and surrounding pockets in Orleans, Genesee, and Livingston counties, eight farms produce 40% of the New York onion acreage on 3,000 acres. Mortellaro, Triple G, CY, and Big O farms account for almost 75% of that production.

In 2005, onion thrips infestations were nearly uncontrollable in New York. Populations of the vegetable-loving insect were resistant to multiple insecticides, and the hot and dry conditions created a worst-case scenario, causing crop losses exceeding 30%. The Elba muck growers helped Cornell researchers conduct dozens of research trials and host large-scale demonstrations on their land, in an attempt to understand the biology, ecology, and management of thrips. “The result culminated in a practical thrips management program, which includes regular scouting of onion fields followed by sparing use of insecticides designed to minimize resistance”, said Brian Nault, Professor of Entomology at Cornell AgriTech.

The Elba growers are now able to successfully manage their thrips infestations. They average between 1- 4 fewer insecticide applications and have saved an average of $113/acre, which is approximately $6,000-$226,000 per farm per year. In addition to regular scouting, the other key tool in the IPM arsenal is information exchange and discussions at the Muck Donut Hour, which Christy Hoepting, Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program, describes as a way she keeps her ‘finger on the pulse’ of the pest complex each year.

Photo shows someone holding a glazed donut with a background of an onion muck field.

Muck Donut Hour is a long-standing tradition.

A CCE tradition for over twenty years, the Muck Donut Hour is held weekly during the growing season. There growers and researchers discuss the latest research findings, scouting and spray reports. Hoepting notes the willingness of the muck onion farmers to entrust their crops to Cornell’s research, and their transparency in sharing spray records. She continues: “the Elba growers are undeniably brave; to so wholeheartedly adopt IPM practices demonstrates the extent of their faith in Cornell’s research on their farms. The risk of a pest spiraling out of control in a high-value onion crop is frightening. Clearly, these growers believe in solid science and go above and beyond to support it.”

Photo shows Christy Hoepting in an onion field.

CCE Educator Christy Hoepting

Steven Beer, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University, says, “without the cooperation of the Elba onion growers, it is not likely that so many IPM-themed tactics would have been adequately tested under real grower conditions. They set the standard for other growers.”

The Elba muck onion farmers are: Matt Mortellaro, a third generation muck farmer and co-owner of G. Mortellaro & Sons, with his brother Paul. “Matt is a fearless leader in adopting IPM strategies. He is committed to sustainable onion production and environmental stewardship, and is a strong advocate of onion IPM,” adds Hoepting. Guy Smith, a fourth generation muck farmer, owns Triple G Farms with his brother Greg and nephew Peter. Guy represents the Elba growing region on the board of directors for the New York Onion Research and Development Program. Chuck Barie and Emmaline Long are Crop Production Managers for CY Farms LLC, which grows 120 acres in Batavia and Elba. Chuck has been responsible for planting, spraying, irrigating and harvesting the onions for over twenty years. Emmaline joined the farm in 2014, after graduating from Cornell; she scouts CY’s entire onion acreage weekly, including counting thrips, to implement IPM. Together, she and Chuck make pest management decisions. CY has the ability to micro manage every 5-20 acre onion field based on each area’s precise pest management needs. Mark and Max Torrey are a father and son onion growing duo, and 11th and 12th generation farmers with Torrey Farms Inc. Max serves as the General Manager for Torrey’s onion operation, Big O Farms. As the largest grower in Elba, the Torrey’s pest management practices affect everyone, Hoepting adds, “Their commitment to implementing resistance management strategies and following IPM spray thresholds has been instrumental in preserving the longevity of insecticides remaining effective against thrips.”
The award will be presented to the pioneering growers during their Muck Donut Hour on July 30.

NYSIPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices. Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

Media contact: Vegetable IPM Educator Abby Seaman
FOR HI RES PHOTOS

Article written by Mariah Courtney Mottley

July 16, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Senior Worm Wrangler Safeguards North Country Crops, wins Excellence in IPM Award

Senior Worm Wrangler Safeguards North Country Crops, wins Excellence in IPM Award

Press Release by Mariah Courtney Mottley. Media contact: Jaime Cummings

Elson Shields, a Cornell entomology professor, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) at Cornell University’s Aurora Farm Field Day on the Musgrave Research Farm. NYSIPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.

Elson Shields

Elson Shields, right, and Charles Bornt, left, Extension Vegetable Specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture team. Elson is explaining the process of EPN application for a biocontrol project to suppress wireworms in the field. Photo: T. Rusinek.

The alfalfa snout beetle, an invasive pest, is a perennial threat to north country alfalfa. In the absence of any registered insecticides for this pest, growers are forced to only use cultural and biological controls. Shields found success protecting alfalfa from the snout beetle with the use of native entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). Nematodes are tiny worms that parasitize and eventually kill the beetle larvae, and stay in the soil to infect future generations of the pest. Shields pioneered the use of nematodes that persist in the soil, and has been able to control snout beetles as long as six years after a single application of EPNs.

Shields has taught growers to rear the EPNs and to apply them to their own crops. Dr. Shields is also exploring ways to use these beneficial nematodes to protect specialty crops. He works with agribusiness consultants in the private sector and other researchers in the public sector. His effective strategy with persistent EPNs has been featured in trade journals such as Growing Produce, Good Fruit Grower and Dairy Herd Management. He received an Entomological Foundation Award for Excellence in IPM in 2013, and his promotion of persistent EPNs is being widely adopted.

Dr. Shields is seen in this photo as he speaks with a group of growers.

Dr. Elson Shields speaks with farmers about his Northern New York Agricultural Development Program alfalfa snout beetle research at a field day in Belleville, NY. Photo courtesy of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

By studying the persistence of nematodes applied to alfalfa through a crop rotation that included several years of corn, Shields observed that EPNs were also helping to control the corn rootworm, on their vacation time from alfalfa. Through collaborations with horticultural researchers, Shields is working on applying persistent EPNs as biological controls in crops such as strawberry, cranberry, sweet potato and turf. He is also studying the potential for using these techniques on greenhouse ornamentals.

Margaret Smith, Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, commends Shields’ willingness to question standard pest management orthodoxy and to follow research results wherever they might lead. She continues, “Elson’s snout beetle IPM effort is an exemplar of an outstanding public sector pest management program. Shields has done pioneering, innovating, and broadly effective research on an array of crops. His record of success will be hard to match.”

Laura McDermott, Regional Extension Specialist, says: “Dr. Shields’ work with native entomopathogenic nematodes is some of the most exciting applied research I’ve been involved with in my 30-year extension career. This integration of a biological control method as a way to manage difficult soil-borne insect pests is inexpensive, effective, and truly sustainable. Elson ALWAYS has the growers in the forefront of his mind. His efforts to teach farmers how to raise and apply these nematodes is testimony to his understanding of their abilities.”

“New York Agriculture, including the dairy, vegetable and fruit industries, have benefitted greatly from Elson’s vision and willingness to go above and beyond what is expected,” says Teresa Rusinek, Extension Associate for Vegetable Production in Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County.  She continues, “I’ve observed at our field meetings and farm demo work that growers easily understand the system and readily adopt the biocontrol strategies Elson’s developed.”

July 12, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on North Country Cutworm Crusader Mike Hunter receives an EXCELLENCE IN IPM Award

North Country Cutworm Crusader Mike Hunter receives an EXCELLENCE IN IPM Award

Press Release by Mariah Courtney Mottley. Media contact: Jaime Cummings

 

Fields Crop Specialist Mike Hunter is seen near a trap meant for pests entering this field corn plot.

Field crops specialist Mike Hunter works with the Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team.

Mike Hunter, a field crops specialist in the Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) at Cornell University’s Aurora Farm Field Day. Hunter was supposed to receive the in January at the crop congress meeting in Watertown but dangerous snowstorms delayed the presentation. NYSIPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.

Photo shows a western bean cutworm larva in the tip of a corn cob.

Western Bean Cutworm is a destructive corn pest.

Hunter has served the farming communities of Jefferson and Lewis counties for over 17 years as a field crops specialist. His personal experience on his family’s farm and in the private sector of agricultural business has inspired his passion for practical crop production and pest management solutions. He is considered an expert on weed management and the Western Bean Cutworm (WBC), an insect that recently invaded the North Country, and has spent years monitoring the pest and giving talks about it here and in Canada.

In 2017, Hunter was one of the first people in New York to encounter a population of WBC that were resistant to the CryF1 toxin that is incorporated into genetically modified corn. The WBCs are the larvae of a Noctuid moth notorious for causing significant yield and quality losses to corn and dry beans – the cutworm made its debut here in the Empire State in 2009. Of Hunter’s on-farm efficacy trials, Kitty O’Neil, an extension specialist in Canton NY, said, “the results were so clear and important, and Mike’s expertise is valued so highly, he was invited to speak at nine different winter field crop meetings across NY and Ontario last winter.” She continues, “Mike’s generosity and willingness to teach others has massively multiplied his impact.”

Photo shows Dr. Jennifer Grant awarding a plaque to Mike Hunter for his Excellence in IPM Award.

NYSIPM Director, Dr. Jennifer Grant awards Mike Hunter his Excellence in IPM award during the recent annual Aurora Field day at Musgrave Farm.

Hunter has collected data from pheromone trapping and field scouting, and made IPM recommendations for farmers suffering with WBC. Stephen Eisel, of the Copenhagen, NY farm where Hunter first identified the resistant pest reported, “Mike Hunter has been a great help to my farm…. We treated the fields following Mike’s recommendations and the fields recovered perfectly. Thanks to Mike and his IPM expertise, I was able to avoid a big and costly problem for my farm.”

In his role helping farmers with their crops, Hunter has also been a champion of using native beneficial nematodes (EPN) as a biological control for the alfalfa snout beetle, an invasive pest that causes much concern for farmers in the north country. Nematodes are tiny worms that parasitize and eventually kill the beetles, and stay in the soil to infect future generations of the pest. Hunter has researched the feasibility of applying EPNs to the soil via liquid manure—an application method that many farmers are excited to embrace.

Michael Kiechle, a farmer in Philadelphia NY, noted, “Over 10 years ago, Mike diagnosed a problem with Alfalfa Snout Beetle over the phone, confirmed it through farm visits and introduced me to the nematodes for control. I now have a pretty decent alfalfa crop… Mike followed up his reasoning with relevant research, and made contact with other researchers and agronomists on my behalf… He is knowledgeable, he understands agriculture and can adapt solutions to the unique needs of the farm.”

Ken Wise extension educator with NYSIPM said, “Mike takes time for everyone and helps them in a respectful and informative way.”

Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

Post by Mariah Courtney Mottley

 

March 1, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Formidable Fruit Doyenne Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Formidable Fruit Doyenne Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Julie Carroll received her Excellence in IPM award March 1, 2019, at the Business, Enology, and Viticulture meeting, New York’s annual conference for the grape and wine industry. She is with Jennifer Grant, NYSIPM Director, and Tim Weigle, NYSIPM Grape and Hops IPM Extension Educator.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Dr. Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Specialist.

Vital. Invaluable. These are words used to describe Julie Carroll’s IPM contributions by her colleagues. Carroll spearheaded the expansion of NEWA, a website and network which allows growers to understand how the weather will affect fungal and insect pests, and takes the guess work out of their pest management strategy. Carroll ran NEWA for over a decade. Timothy Weigle credits NEWA’s growth in not only weather stations, but also the number of states participating, to Julie’s guidance. Under her leadership NEWA went from 45 weather stations in New York State to over 500 in 12 states. He notes further that her work on improving the user experience with the grape disease and grape berry moth models on NEWA, along with Wayne Wilcox and Greg Loeb, had an enormous impact on the implementation of grape IPM in New York.

Cherry orchard scouting

Laura McDermott, Regional Extension Specialist in Hudson Falls, NY, noted Dr. Carroll’s passion for integrating pest management strategies, and called her “a determined perfectionist.”

Carroll also led the development of Trac software. Introduced in the early 2000s, the software simplified and digitized pesticide recordkeeping for large and small growers and processors alike. It allows farmers to input the information once, and generate customized reports for different processors. The software also includes reference to “IPM Elements” for grapes and other crops—a tool that helps growers assess their pest management practices. Grape processors across the state, including Constellation Brands, use TracGrape’s reports for their pesticide reporting requirements. Carroll built Trac software for five fruit crops, and partnered with a colleague to create TracTurfgrass for golf, lawns, sports fields and sod farms.

Luke Haggerty, of Constellation Brands, calls Carroll’s TracGrape software “a true breakthrough” in record keeping. As a Grower Relations rep for Constellation, he relies on information provided by NEWA: “Julie has always been very proactive in developing and delivering the products needed for our growers to produce grapes in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.”

Julie Carroll inspecting hops

Tim Martinson, Cornell Cooperative Extension Viticulture specialist, noted, “IPM is built on information and decision-making tools. Juliet has built TracGrape and NEWA into useful, practical tools for growers.”

Dr. Carroll also co-edited Organic Production and IPM Guides for grapes and several berry crops, and has regularly presented at Lake Erie Regional Grape Growers’ conferences and Coffee Pot meetings. She has conducted research on devastating pests such as the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)—investigating whether hungry hummingbirds can provide meaningful control. Dr. Carroll has also chaired the Northeast IPM SWD working groups for the last decade, bringing research scientists, growers, industry reps, and extension educators from across the region together to help find solutions. Carroll has also helped fruit growers with bird management. Tim Weigle noted that her bird-scaring tactics have saved everyone a lot of money and are more popular than the traditional neighbor-alienating air cannon.

Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

NYS Fruit IPM website

Cornell’s Fruit Website

Today’s post written by Mariah Courtney Mottley <mmp35@cornell.edu>

February 15, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Canny Climatologist Codes his way to Excellence in IPM Award

Canny Climatologist Codes his way to Excellence in IPM Award

Keith Eggleston and NYSIPM’s Dr. Juliet Carroll

Keith Eggleston, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) received our Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award at the 2019 Empire State Producers’ Expo in Syracuse, in January.

Begun in 1995 by NYSIPM, the Network for Environment and Weather App’s (delivers weather information from farm-based weather stations from Minnesota to New Hampshire to North Carolina and feeds it into ore than 40 pest forecasting and crop production tools. NEWA’s weather data summaries and IPM forecasts give farmers the best information to make scientifically based decisions about how to manage pests. NEWA is highly valued by New York fruit and vegetable growers, largely thanks to Keith’s diligence and expertise.

How did Mr. Eggleston help? He wrote the code for the IPM forecast models on NEWA’s website, newacornell.edu. Successful? Yes! These IPM tools work so well that NEWA expanded from around 40 to over 600 weather stations and from one state to 14. The pest forecasts help farmers in NY and other states predict when pests might strike and how severe the assault may be – saving them from both spraying and losing sleep.

Keith’s colleagues cheer his insights into the nuances of climate data and his eternal vigilance regarding bug fixes, stalled models, and metadata rescue. He has been called miracle worker, tech guru, and the glue that binds the NRCC to the NEWA. Keith Eggleston makes sure that users are happy and NEWA data and model outputs are of the highest quality.

NEWA’s Dan Olmstead

Dan Olmstead, NEWA coordinator, credits Keith’s understanding of programming languages, weather, climate, and the NEWA users themselves as the foundation of the collaborative success of the project. He adds, “Keith’s real strength comes from his endless patience, calm thinking, collaborative spirit, and tenacity—all of which creates synergy… NEWA continues to grow rapidly because the tools Keith built stand the test of time and end-user scrutiny.”

Art DeGaetano, director of the NRCC, concurs. “Among the scientists involved with NEWA, Keith is the trusted voice …concerning how a model should be implemented, the design of the model, or even the proper data to use, Keith’s respectful expertise is the catalyst for reaching common ground and achieving excellence.”

Eggleston has a unique perspective on agriculture—his father was a Vocational Ag teacher and FFA Advisor; he himself a member of the agricultural fraternity, Alpha Zeta, at Cornell University. “I have always had an affinity for agriculture and have found it very satisfying to be able to help develop models that will be useful in the farming community,” he said.

Congratulations Keith!

Keith and NYSIPM Director, Dr. Jennifer Grant

For more on our Excellence in IPM Winners, visit the NYSIPM Website.

Today’s post by Mariah Mottley Plumlee, mmp35@cornell.edu

November 27, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Unsung Hero of Albany Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Unsung Hero of Albany Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Charlie Kruzansky, associate vice president for government relations at Cornell University, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award Nov. 27 in Albany from the New York State IPM Program (NYSIPM).

Charlie Kruzansky and NYSIPM Director Jennifer Grant.  Yes, it’s true. This is Charlie’s second award, proving his efforts in IPM are just as strong now as they were in 2008!

The magic of IPM lies in sharing information to get results, whether it’s between researchers and farmers or school officials and government representatives. Since 1991, Kruzansky has represented Cornell before the legislative and executive branches of the state government and other stakeholders in order to secure funding for IPM and other programs.

His efforts have helped communities across New York implement sustainable ways to manage pests, from helping North Country legislators understand how farmers in their region rely on the IPM trapping network for monitoring the western bean cutworm, to helping state senators on Long Island recognize that IPM management of athletic fields can keep surfaces safe for students without the use of pesticides.

“I am so proud to have helped the IPM Program secure state funding through easy budget times and difficult ones,” said Kruzansky. “The results of this research and outreach benefit the rural, suburban, and urban residents of the state and our air, land and water.” He shares that in a meeting with the NYS Division of the Budget in the first floor of the State Capitol the staff admitted that they had a mouse problem and that the folks at IPM taught them how to solve the problem.

Though his contributions are rarely visible to the public, Kruzansky’s are no less crucial to the impact IPM has in educating people in the community about low-risk ways to manage unwanted insects, plants and other nuisance organisms.

 

Charlie Kruzansky, with Carrie Wolinetz and Zoe Nelson, shares his perspectives and advice on translating research to policymakers with grad students and postdocs, as part of a Cornell Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) panel session.

“When the needs and wishes of the people are met by a program that can deliver solutions, government is working well. Charlie helps make that happen,” said Jennifer Grant, director of NYSIPM.

Former IPM directors praised Kruzansky for his longstanding efforts throughout the years.

“Charlie’s understanding of the Albany scene and the countless contacts that he has there have been critical to the overall success that the NYS IPM program has experienced over the years,” said Don Rutz.

Kruzansky’s consistence and persistence earned him a reputation as a juggernaut. His work has helped secure more than $500,000 in annual funding for NYSIPM’s Community program to make schools, parks and homes safer across New York.

“I’m glad Charlie is on our side,” said former director Mike Hoffmann, who added that he appreciates Kruzansky’s insight on “how things really work in Albany” in addition to his guidance on how to best engage state agencies.

The NYSIPM program develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award is presented to innovators who encourage the adoption of IPM on their farms; promote IPM in their businesses, schools, and communities; and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices. Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

Post by Mariah Mottley Plumlee, freelance writer for the NYSIPM Program.

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