March 15, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on We celebrate Agriculture more than once a year!
March 15, 2019
February 20, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on #Ticks. Avoid Them. Remove Them. Here’s How.
Winter weather doesn’t mean time to stop thinking about ticks. Certainly not for the Don’t Get Ticked New York team here at the NYSIPM program. Tick are active year round, and are out looking for hosts We’ve continued to provide resources and give talks around the state, and update our own resources. Visit the Don’t Get Ticked New York page.
Watch this video by Joellen Lampman and share this post!
Live in Tick Country? (gardener)
Live in Tick Country? (farmer)
Live in Tick Country? (hunter)
Live in Tick Country? (children)
Prepare for Summer Camp
How to Protect your Pets
Minimize Ticks in School Yards
Minimize Ticks in Your Yard
Recognize Tick Habitats
Proper Use of Repellents
Monitor Ticks in School Yards
Monitor Ticks in Your Backyard
Ticks and tick-borne diseases have become a significant public health issue in New York, with different tick species and diseases currently present and spreading within the state and region.Visit the Don’t Get Ticked New York page.
January 2, 2019
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on IPM Celebrates the New Year With News for You
We decided on a new look for our IPM Year in Review—our first-ever calendar. Who doesn’t put calendars to good use? I’ve already noted a couple of dentist appointments in mine.
And for you, dear reader, we offer our calendar sampler—four months, four topics, four new things to learn.
It’s February and shivery cold—and time to pay careful attention to the nooks and crannies so inviting to the critters that call your home theirs. Do you hear varmints scurrying in the basement, the walls, the ceiling? Mice and kin (OK, rats) have taken up lodgings and are way overdue on the rent.
Block their access. Start with a look in the basement. For mice, the entryway need be no larger than a dime; for rats, a quarter. Take it from us: if their heads can fit through, their fat little tummies can squeeze through too. Found a hole? Found several? Get some sealant and fill ’em up. https://conservesenecacounty.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/mouse.jpg
Ah, March—when winter marches into spring. School kids are antsy to get outside. And us? We’ve got ticks on our mind. Here’s your blacklegged tick, up close and personal. Soon these ticks will be out and about; the health hazards can hardly be overstated.
So practice the drill—how to ID them, dress for the occasion, do tick checks. Planning a hike? Wear light-colored duds (the better to see you with, my dear), pull your socks over your cuffs—and as soon as you’re home, do tick checks. Got pets? Check them too.
Btw, though their common name is “deer tick,” many scientists prefer “blacklegged tick.” We’re speculating here—but could that be because otherwise people will get the mistaken notion they can catch Lyme from deer, which they cannot? Yes, deer are among the movers and shakers in the world of Lyme. But by the time they’ve donated their blood to the cause, mama tick will have dropped off and called it a day.
Regardless: these ticks have a lineage that goes way back. In fact, a fossilized tick was found in a chunk of amber where it dined on mammalian blood some 20 million years ago. It carried babesia—a disease that’s still in action today.
It’s May now; summer is nearly here and the weeds are growing like—well, like weeds. Unperturbed by spray, horseweed and waterhemp are gaining ground, dramatically reducing crop yields. Regaining control over these herbicide-resistant weeds is a major issue for New York’s farmers.
Here’s one approach. With nearly 20 rubbery fingers on each hand and 20-plus hands, this cultivator earns its keep by dislodging, uprooting, and burying weeds while they’re still small. The boxy white contraption with two dark “eyes” and mounted at head height with a cable running toward the cab? That’s a camera, designed to move the cultivator left or right. It’s job? Keeping the cultivator aligned with the crop.
Bed bugs are back, the scourge of small and big towns alike. No, they don’t spread disease. Yes, on some of us they leave itchy red welts—while others have no symptoms at all. But you don’t need to throw all your belongings away, we promise. IPM now offers to ultimate in How To guides: How to Get Bed Bugs Out of Your Belongings.
Your hair dryer and vacuum cleaner will be your steadfast companions in your battle to regain control over your mattresses, shoes, clothes, and electronics. The hair dryer’s gentle heat will flush the little buggers out of hiding; the vacuum cleaner sucks them up. The guide also provides instructions on how to quarantine your belongings long enough to starve them into oblivion. Bed bugs, even during the holidays, are manageable.
Let IPM help you!
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard
2018 has been quite the year and we have been busy blogging, tweeting, videoing, and Facebooking about it. Here’s a recap of some of our more popular 2018 offerings:
ThinkIPM – our catchall blog and a great way to keep a pulse on what’s happening in New York State IPM.
Our most popular blog post was actually a guest blog by Paul Hetzler, CCE St. Lawrence County, Move Over, Medusa: Pretty? Poisonous! in the Caterpillar Clan. We’re big fans of his writing and this post on a venomous caterpillar caught a lot of your attention as well. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ticks in the cold was also a popular topic. And relevant to now! Check out these two blog posts, Ticks don’t care what month it is and Ticks and the freezing weather. Hopefully they both convince you to keep up your daily tick checks.
While visiting our blog, you have also been checking out older posts. Our second most popular post viewed in 2018 was a 2014 post, Identifying Your Pest – with Poop?. There are a lot of budding scatologists out there.
Other IPM Blogs – Besides ThinkIPM, we have more dedicated blogs, and you don’t need to be a specialist to subscribe to them. Here are some of the more popular posts:
We saw a number of news reports about bed bugs in schools, so we wrote Bed bugs in schools aren’t going away in The ABCs of School and Childcare Pest Management blog. And you read it. We just wish the news reporters and commenters did too.
The 2017 NEWA Survey: IPM impact includes such gems as “93% agreed or strongly agreed that NEWA pest forecast information enhances IPM decision-making for their crops”.
When it comes to Facebook, video rules. Our most popular Facebook post was our claymation video, Life Cycle of the Blacklegged Tick (and Lyme Disease Prevention!). And, by the way, this claymation was part of a large Don’t Get Ticked NY campaign launched in 2018!
Our new Spotted Lanternfly video, Have YOU Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses was just posted, but it has already reached the number two spot. This invasive insect is getting a lot of attention and we need your help to keep track of it in New York.
We’re not surprised that our most popular Tweet of 2018 was about spotted lanternfly. Follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest information.
This might be cheating, because it was just released and we have no data to show its popularity, but our 2017-2018 annual report is a 2019 calendar and everyone we have shown it to has been pretty excited.
So, as we raise our glasses to 2018 and look forward to 2019, include keeping up with NYS IPM Program amongst your resolutions.
Happy New Year!
December 20, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Avipel Shield seed repellent reduces feeding by birds on newly planted corn
NYSIPM’s Livestock & Field Crops IPM Extension Area Educator, Ken Wise, has news for field corn growers.
Crows, ravens, black birds, starlings, grackles, Canada geese, sea gulls and wild turkeys have been a pest problem annually for corn growers in New York. Damage to corn stands occurs when planted corn emerges and birds pull the seedling corn out of the soil to eat the seed. This damage dramatically reduces corn plant populations.
Avipel Shield is a seed treatment that is classified as a bio-pesticide designed to deter bird feeding on newly planted corn seed in a nontoxic manner. Avipel’s active ingredient is anthraquinone, an extract from the rhubarb plant.
Over the past two years, we have had field trials at 36 locations across the state to evaluate the Avipel seed treatment. Overall, the results of the trials showed a significant improvement in corn seedling populations in the Avipel treated plots, compared to the non-treated controls. Therefore, Avipel is a viable, and environmentally-sound integrated management option for NY corn growers to manage losses to bird predation in newly planted corn.
Figure 1: Avipel vs Control Plant Populations in 2017
Figure 2: Avipel vs Control Plant Populations in 2018
Avipel Shield is now registered to use on corn seed in New York State
Ken’s long service with the NYSIPM program makes him known to many farmers across the state. He provides leadership in innovative educational and applied research programs relative to IPM in Field Crops and Livestock Producers in New York; assists Extension Educators in extension program development, assessing needs, implementation, and evaluation relative to IPM in Field Crops and Livestock Producers in New York; conducts applied research relative to IPM in Field Crops and Livestock in Eastern New York; and he’s the Acting/Interim NYS IPM Livestock and Field Crops Coordinator. Ken is located in the Hudson Valley. Field crop IPM assistance is also supported by Jaime Cummings in Eastern NY, and by vegetable educators Abby Seaman and Marion Zuefle.
November 23, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Training the Next Generation of Crop Scouts and Advisors
Today’s post is by Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock Coordinator
Each year, hundreds of prospective certified crop advisors (CCA’s) prepare for the certification exams across the country. This certification is required by many reputable independent crop consultant firms for their scouts and consultants to ensure that they hire only the best and most well-informed applicants. Each region of the country has its own certification exam, including the Northeast region. Preparation for the Northeast region certification involves a three day intensive training in Syracuse in November, followed by self-study with online tutorial videos, and finally two exams in February. One exam is to earn the International Certified Crop Advisor certification, and the other is more specific to each region. It is required that all registrants pass both exams to earn their certification. Once certified, CCA’s must also earn annual continuing education credits to retain their certification and to stay current on relevant issues.
It is a challenging process, and only those who are well-prepared will pass the certification exams. The curriculum of the courses and exams covers four core competency areas: crop management, soil fertility and nutrient management, soil and water management, and pest management. Northeast regional CCA experts from the University of Vermont, Penn State University, Cornell University, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY ESF, NYS Department of Ag and Markets, USDA, DEC and other agribusiness industries, all come together to facilitate the annual basic and advanced trainings.
The NYS IPM program has had a long history of involvement with these trainings in order to best prepare CCA’s for scouting for pests and diseases and for making sound management recommendations to their farmers, with the goal of reducing unnecessary pesticide applications through attention to thresholds and appropriate management guidelines. This year is no exception. The NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock team members, Jaime Cummings and Ken Wise, who are both CCA’s, have been preparing to host sessions in the annual training next week. Jaime developed a training video for the IPM portion of the pest management basic training and will be co-hosting the Q&A session on weeds, pest and diseases. These sessions will provide the basic background information on the concepts and practices of integrated pest management. Ken will be leading an advanced training session on the importance of crop scouting and the proper scouting methods for various pests. Ken will also be co-hosting a session with another IPM specialist, Marion Zuefle, on bird management in cropping systems. The topics for the advanced training session vary each year, and other members of NYS IPM have been involved with leading those sessions on topics such as IPM in vegetable production systems, and development and use of weather-based tools for predicting pest and disease occurrence in past years.
Through our involvement in this process, NYS IPM ensures that the next generation of CCA’s understands the importance of implementing the best IPM practices throughout their careers. Earning this certification means that a CCA understands that an integrated approach to pest and disease management is the best approach to minimize risk to individuals, the environment and the farmers’ bottom line through correct identification of pests, proper scouting and attention to action thresholds to minimize unnecessary pesticide applications. As the CCA exams approach, we wish all prospective CCA’s the best of luck, and look forward to working with them on NY farms in the future! If you’re interested in more information on the CCA program, check out this six minute video.
Jaime Cummings is the Field Crops and Livestock IPM Coordinator of the NYS IPM Program. She is housed at 524 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 14853
October 24, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Western Bean Cutworm Population Boom
This post is based on an article written for Cornell’s WHAT’S CROPPING UP blog by Ken Wise (NYS IPM) and Mike Hunter (CCE North Country Regional Ag Team) with editing by NYS IPM’s Jaime Cummings and Marion Zuefle.
Western bean cutworm (Striacosta albicosta) aka WBC was first discovered in New York State in 2009. This insect pest of corn and dry beans can cause significant yield and quality losses to field corn grain.
The Western bean cutworm moth (Photo by: Adam Sisson, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org)
The adult moth lays eggs on the upper surface of leaf just before tasseling. White eggs turn tan, and then a purplish color before hatching (Fig. 2). Tiny and protected1st instar larvae feed on their own egg shell before moving on to leaves, pollen and silk. (Fig. 3). 4th instars bore into the corn ear to feed on kernels (Fig. 4), and here’s the big difference between WBC and other worm pests (European corn borer, corn ear worm): multiple worms in one ear. Matured larvae drop to the soil surface, then burrow down to overwinter in a pre-pupa stage (Fig. 5). They complete pupation in late spring and emerge from the soil from mid-July through mid-August. The adult moths fly and mate during late July to early August.
Figure 2: Eggs are white when first laid and then turn purplish before hatching (Photo by Mike Hunter, CCE)
Figure 3: First instar Western Bean Cutworm larvae (photo by Mike Hunter, CCE)
Figure 4: Mature Western Bean Cutworm Larvae (Photo by Ken Wise, NYS IPM)
Figure 5: Soil chambers created by Western bean cutworm larvae- (Photo by Keith Waldron, NYS IPM)
Figure 6: Western Bean Cutworm Lifecycle
In 2010, we developed a WBC pheromone trap monitoring network. Each year, from late June through August, this network of CCE Educators, crop consultants and agricultural professionals place out bucket pheromone traps. A female WBC pheromone lure attracts and catches only the males. Each week they are counted and reported (along with location of the trap) to determine when scouting should occur. This, however, doesn’t determine if or when a field should be sprayed with an insecticide.
Since 2010, the population of the WBC in New York has increase exponentially. Likewise, we started with 19 volunteers and 44 traps in 29 counties, and in 2018, we had 50 volunteers and 118 traps in 45 counties.
Table 1. New York Western Bean Cutworm 2010 – 2018 Collection Data Summary*
Includes traps in field corn, sweet corn and dry beans
Average captures by trap went from 15 in 2010 to 333 in 2018. Northern NY is the hot spot for WBC—some traps had almost 3000 in a single trap.
Figure 8: Average Western Bean Cutworm Moths Caught in Traps Weekly (Includes traps in field corn, sweet corn and dry beans)
A very important aspect of managing WBC is knowing when peak flight occurs. This generally ranges from the last week in July to the first week in August. Because females prefer to lay eggs in pre-tassel corn, growers can determine when to be vigilant about scouting for WBC egg masses and small larva.
Figure 9: Average Moth Counts/Trap without Northern NY (Includes traps in field corn, sweet corn and dry beans)
The data suggests the population is beginning to build up in previously low-count areas of the state. In time, management of WBC populations will likely be needed across the state. Widespread, high WBC populations in Northern NY have resulted in insecticide treatments.
While WBC damage to corn ears can be significant and may have detrimental effects on corn grain yield and quality, the economic impact on corn silage is less understood. For more on this read the full report.
No matter what 2019 brings, the NY WBC Pheromone Trap Monitoring Network will be watching!
Livestock & Field Crops IPM Extension Area Educator, housed at CCE Dutchess County, Millbrook, NY
2018 New York WBC Pheromone Trap Monitoring Network: Thanks to cooperating growers for allowing us to use their fields for sample sites. Special thanks to the following individuals for their enthusiasm, dedication, excellent data collection and maintenance of the WBC trap network: Adam Abers, Brian Boerman, Chuck Bornt, Elizabeth Buck, Sara Bull, Paul Cerosaletti, Mike Davis, Janice Degni, Dale Dewing, Natasha Field, Cassidy Fletcher, Jennifer Fimbel, Aaron Gabriel, Kevin Ganoe, Jeffrey Gardner, Don Gasiewicz, John Gibbons, Ethan Grundberg, Mike Kiechle, Ariel Kirk, Jeff Kubeka, George Krul, Christy Hoepting, Mike Hunter, Amy Ivy, Joe Lawrence, Jodi Lynn Letham, Jen Masters, Laura McDermott, Carol MacNeil, Sam Meigs, Stephanie Melancher, Sandy Menasha, Jeff Miller, Anne Mills, Eric Nixon, Kitty O’Neil, Jessica Prospers, Bruce Reed, Teresa Rusinek, Erik Kocho-Schellenberg, Jack Steele, Abby Seaman, Keith Slocum, Paul Stackowski, Mike Stanyard, Dan Steward, Crystal Stewart, Allie Strun, Linda Underwood, Katherine Vail, Ken Wise, Anastasia Yakaboski, Glenn Yousey, Marion Zuefle, WNYCMA. The WBC Bt corn trials were made possible with support from both the New York Corn Growers Association and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.
October 17, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Seed Selection for Resistance to Insects and Diseases
Today’s post is authored by Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock
Whether planting a home garden or a one hundred acre soybean field, it’s important to consider all the pest, weed and disease issues that may occur during the growing season. We have many tools in the IPM toolkit to help us manage these issues, including crop rotation, hand weeding, reliance on natural predators, and use of exclusion barriers, insect traps and pesticides. But one of the most important cultural practices everyone should consider as a first line of defense against pests and diseases is genetic resistance in the varieties you select to grow.
Selective breeding, or genetic modification, for improved harvests has been occurring since the beginning of agriculture, and all modern crops have been modified in some way from their wild ancestor plants. Think about corn, also known as maize, as one familiar example. All modern corn was derived from the ancestral grass called teosinte through selective breeding by our ancestors (Figure 1). Many advancements in breeding methods and technologies have developed in recent decades, but the goal is the same: To develop elite varieties that are well-adapted to specific regions with resistance to common diseases and pests to achieve high yields. We now have a wide range of corn varieties and hybrids with different maturities, different colored and sized kernels, and different levels of resistance to a wide variety of pests and diseases (Figure 2). Some modern corn hybrids even have specific traits or genes that enable them to tolerate certain herbicides or to ward off some insect pests. All these breeding advancements have resulted in improved yields and decreased pesticide use. And there are many other disease resistance genes that have been discovered and integrated into many corn varieties. These too have significantly reduced farmers’ reliance on pesticides for managing diseases and the harmful mycotoxins produced by some pathogenic fungi.
Teosinte is the wild plant that all modern corn originated from 8,700 years ago. (Image from National Geographic)
Diversity in corn varieties developed through selective breeding efforts. (Image from USDA)
Corn is just one example among all the crops we grow with options for genetic resistance to numerous pests and diseases. We have similar opportunities when selecting varieties for our fruits, vegetables and grains (Figures 3 and 4). Choose wisely and consider the advantages of selecting varieties with resistance. Many insects and diseases plague our crops that are challenging to manage, with or without the natural or synthetic pesticides used in organic or non-organic agricultural systems. To improve your chances of success in minimizing losses, consider all the strategies of integrated pest management, starting with the seeds you select to plant.
Tomato varieties that are susceptible (left) and resistant (right) to late blight. (Image from Cornell University, Martha Mutschler)
Soybean varieties that are susceptible (left) and resistant (right) to aphids. (Image from University of Minnesota)
Whether developed through traditional selective breeding methods or high-tech genetic engineering, all of our crops have been modified from their original form to provide us with improved feed, fiber and fuel yields. When selecting varieties to plant in your garden or on your farm, take advantage of these breeding advancements, and consider choosing varieties with resistance to the pests and diseases that are commonly problematic in your area. You’ll be glad you did when you have fewer bugs chomping on your crops and fewer losses to those unsightly molds and mildews.
Field Crops and Livestock IPM Coordinator
October 9, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Pollinator Habitat
Today, Biocontrol Specialist Amara Dunn addresses a common question.
So you want to grow habitat for pollinators…what’s the best method?
The short answer is that there probably isn’t a single best method. But there may be a best method for you. I know it’s not a very satisfying answer, but let me explain.
Remember that an area that provides food and shelter for pollinators (and, incidentally, natural enemies of pests, too!) contains a mix of plant species that bloom throughout the growing season and variation in plant shapes, sizes, and types. Leaving debris from last year’s growth is also helpful. While there are many good reasons to use native plants, non-native plants are ok too, as long as they aren’t invasive. There are plenty of resources out there for choosing plant species for pollinators, like this list of regionally-appropriate plants, and this database that is searchable by zip code. Other databases are searchable by specific plant characteristics.
Once you’ve selected the species you want to use in your pollinator habitat area, you have two main tasks: managing weeds, and establishing the plants. And here’s where the options can start to feel daunting. How will you manage weeds – hand pulling, herbicides, tillage, a cover crop, mulch? This is a critical step in creating habitat for pollinators, and one that is too-often overlooked. Experts recommend that you plan to spend at least one full growing season focused only on this task.
The weed management strategy you choose may also depend on how you would like to establish the plants you have chosen. The two main options are planting seeds directly into the ground, or transplanting small seedlings (or “plugs”). But should you do this in the spring or the fall? In the Northeast United States, experts recommend sowing seeds in the fall. Fall is also a good time to transplant perennials. And it has the advantage of allowing you to spend the entire growing season controlling weeds. But depending on your project timeline, it may not feel like the best option for you.
To help you make informed decisions about the best way to establish habitat for pollinators, I am working with Dr. Betsy Lamb and Brian Eshenaur to measure the costs, labor, and effectiveness of different methods for establishing pollinator habitat. The work is being done in demonstration plots located at Cornell AgriTech at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. We are comparing six different methods, summarized below.
As you can see, we’ve included a mixture of weed management techniques (cover crop, mulch, mowing, herbicide and tillage, soil solarization) and different plant establishment techniques (seeds vs. plants, spring vs. fall timing). And we’re keeping track of the time and money spent on each method.
You can read more about the details of the methods we’re using and see pictures of our spring planting and seeding on my blog, Biocontrol Bytes. Over the next month or so, we will do our fall seeding. Stay tuned as we finish up the season and calculate inputs of time and money and analyze data collected by NYS IPM’s Bryan Brown on weed management success.
Amara Dunn is the Biocontrol Specialist for the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 W. North Street, Geneva, NY 14456. Follow her blog, BIOCONTROL BYTE
October 5, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on “She Had a Field Day” More with New Field Crops Coordinator, Jaime Cummings
On Thursday, September 6, forty-five farmers attended a free Corn Plot Field Day in Cochecton, N.Y., where IPM staffers Jaime Cummings and Ken Wise gave two presentations. Event sponsors included Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC), Cochecton Mills, and Delaware Valley Farm & Garden.
Jaime Cummings, newly minted NYS Livestock and Field Crops Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, discussed two aspects of corn pests—worms and leaf diseases. A field trial tour of over a dozen varieties preceded the discussion and assessment.
As invited speaker, Jaime came with plenty of experience, but admits that while discussing insect pests, she was particularly glad for Ken’s presence and his over twenty years with the IPM program. Three major insect pests were discussed: Western bean cutworm, corn rootworm and common army worm.
The second talk centered on corn foliar diseases including gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, eyespot, and common rust.
Attendees learned about the biology and lifecycles of each disease and pest, and IPM management tactics. To aid identification and further understand the impacts on yields, farmers examined samples of insects and diseased leaves.
Since starting her position in July, Cummings has been ‘boots on the ground’ in corn and soybean fields across the state, offering IPM options that help extension educators and farmers identify and manage diseases and pests. From rating a soybean white mold variety trial in western NY to searching for the soybean cyst nematode in central NY, and this corn field day in eastern NY, Cummings has jumped in with both feet to help NY field crop and livestock farmers.
Later this year, Jaime will be speaking at multiple events including these two CCE grower meetings: soybean white mold in Herkimer County, and soybean cyst nematode in Cayuga County.
For more about Jaime, visit our welcome post!