March 15, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on We celebrate Agriculture more than once a year!
March 15, 2019
March 6, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on An #IPM Field Trip
Recently, our Livestock & Field Crops IPM Extension Area Educator, Ken Wise did a guest lecture in the Cornell IPM class taught by Dr. Toni DiTomasso and Dr. John Losey. But Ken didn’t only stand in front of the chalkboard (or white board); he did a hands-on lecture on fly pest management at the new teaching dairy facility near campus.
Forty or so student were present for the educational tour which happened to coincide with a very recent birth.
Livestock & Field Crops Coordinator Jaime Cummings was along: “Ken shared his 20 years of experience in livestock IPM education with Cornell undergrads on identifying and managing fly pests. Students showed their interest with many good questions and were excited at the opportunity to tour the teaching dairy facility, where the calves were a big hit in drumming up interest in NY dairy production!”
For more on Dairy fly management, the NYSIPM Program has a full list of video playlists including LIVESTOCK IPM.
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.
“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!
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
August 1, 2018
by Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann
Comments Off on An Exotic Tick Could be Very Bad News
Some scientists consider the epidemic of tick-borne disease in the Northeast one of the region’s greatest natural disasters. As if the risks were not bad enough already, there is a newly emerging concern. In the fall of 2017, officials in New Jersey confirmed the discovery of a new species of tick on a sheep farm in Hunterdon County. This tick, known as the longhorned tick or East Asian tick, has now been discovered in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and, recently, New York. Native to China, Korea, Japan and Pacific islands and nations, the longhorned tick has only been known to science for about nine years and is thought to have been in the United States since at least 2010.
Nymph, male and female life stages of blacklegged ticks at the top, nymph and adult of the longhorned tick below, compared with poppy seeds. Photo: Jim Occi, Rutgers University
So what is the risk? The longhorned tick feeds on a wide range of mammals and birds, including cattle, sheep pigs, chickens as well as bear, deer, fox, rabbits, smaller mammals and wild birds. It also feeds on dogs, cats and humans. This tick spreads quickly through herds of domestic and wild animals. It may have arrived in the US through human travel or the transport of animals, as the USDA has intercepted specimens at inspection points in US ports. Wild migratory birds can carry these ticks, and so can animals that move great distances, such as coyotes. Even though it has been discovered in just a handful of states, the longhorned tick is likely much more widespread.
An interesting aspect of the biology of longhorned ticks is that females can reproduce asexually through a process known as parthenogenesis. Females do not need to seek a mate and can reproduce quickly and spread rapidly into new areas. It is a cold-tolerant species that can overwinter, and therefore it is expected to spread northward.
The longhorned tick is capable of transmitting diseases to livestock animals, including horses, sheep and cows. This means a significant risk to the dairy and livestock industry from tick-borne theileriosis, a malaria-like disease that results in anemia and possible death of cattle and sheep.
This exotic tick can also carry a few serious disease organisms that affect humans but we still do not know if it can transmit those pathogens to people. In one recent case, a child in New Jersey found a longhorned tick crawling on her body, but was not bitten. That tick tested negative for known pathogens. However, a single tick specimen cannot define the disease risk that we might face, so we need more information.
Anyone who encounters a tick is encouraged to have the tick identified by a professional. This is especially true for ticks that seem out of the ordinary. Longhorned ticks are difficult to identify, especially in the younger stages. Adults are plain brown but look similar to brown dog ticks. You can submit ticks for identification to one of the tick ID services listed at the bottom of this webpage: http://www.neregionalvectorcenter.com/ticks.
Prevent tick bites to minimize the risks of becoming infected. Learn more about tick bite prevention and tick management at the NYS IPM Program’s Tick webpage: www.dontgettickedny.org.
For more details about the exotic longhorned tick, see the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases fact sheet: http://neregionalvectorcenter.com/longhorned-tick
“Rutgers-Led ‘Tick Blitz’ finds exotic longhorned ticks and aggressive lone star tocks in new locations across New Jersey”. Buccino, Neal. Rutgers Today. 7/30/18 https://news.rutgers.edu/rutgers-led-%E2%80%9Ctick-blitz%E2%80%9D-finds-exotic-longhorned-ticks-and-aggressive-lone-star-ticks-new-locations/20180530#.W19psdVKiCg [Accessed 7/30/18]
“Longhorned” tick found in New York, growing number of states”. Ricks, Delthia, Newsday, 7/18/18 https://www.newsday.com/news/health/longhorn-tick-health-new-york-1.19903464 [Accessed 7/30/18]
July 12, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on It’s Invasive Species Week, and …
We’re smack-dab in the middle of Invasive Species Week, and we’ve got info for you.
Are you a gardener? Take a look at our Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants. We’ve got garden flowers. Vines. Trees. Shrubs. Aquatics—plants that like wet feet but will do fine in many gardens.
Like to walk in the woods? Our Landscape and Forest Pest webpage alerts you to emerging pests.
Or you could go to NYIS.INFO … your gateway to science-based information, innovative tools, news and events—all for coping with biological invaders in New York.
Granted—it’s not the cheeriest of weeks, but it’s best we be aware. It is, after all, in our collective self-interest.
July 10, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on New Field Crops and Livestock Coordinator Joins NYS IPM
Greetings! I’m Jaime Cummings, the new Field Crops and Livestock Coordinator at NYS IPM. My job? To work with field crop and livestock farmers on more than 3 million acres statewide who grow corn, hay, and other field crops and contribute to New York’s livestock industry. These farmers know all too well the problems that come with insect, disease and weed pests—problems that can change year to year.
They need IPM. Which means that each person who lives in New York and eats or drinks anything produced on a farm also needs IPM.
My background is in plant pathology, and I come from Cornell’s Field Crops Pathology program. While there I focused on field research for dealing with plant diseases and mycotoxins (aka fungal toxins). I also provided diagnostics for statewide disease surveys on all major field crops. Along the way I also earned my Certified Crop Advisor certification (CCA) for the Northeast.
Integrated Pest Management for Field Crops and Livestock
Field crop and livestock farmers in New York face problems both new and old. For starters, unpredictable weather patterns can favor a different spectrum or intensity of disease and pest problems that vary from one year to the next. Meanwhile, invasive pests of all sorts are ever knocking at our borders. It’s critical to know not only how to address each issue, but also know when it’s economically feasible and environmentally responsible to do so. IPM scouting networks and forecasting methods help us better understand pest levels. This in turn helps farmers use well-defined thresholds for making solid management decisions.
And of course, IPM works for organic and conventional farmers alike. They all know there are no silver bullets or one-size-fits-all management strategies when it comes solving disease or pest problems—which is why we need to integrate pest management strategies for the best success. Any approach to managing pests and protecting crops that minimizes health and environmental hazards by the most economical means should be thoughtfully considered and implemented.
The goal? To prevent problems in the first place. True, sometimes nature tosses us a wild card we couldn’t have guessed at. Regardless—IPM helps farmers avoid wasteful treatments while offering other options that are good both for the environment and the farmer’s bottom line.
Want to learn about IPM options for your farm? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the weekly field crops pest report http://blogs.cornell.edu/ipmwpr/ to stay up to date on statewide scouting and management updates.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you and wish you a safe and productive season.
May 23, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on The Invasive of the Month Is … (Drum Roll)
Drum Roll: The Spotted Lanternfly
Southeastern Pennsylvania, the epicenter of spotted lanternfly’s arrival in 2014, might seem far enough away to give us in New York prep time for dealing with this new pest, a weak flyer that usually hops to get around. But with the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula—and SLF for short), all bets are off. After all, it took over Korea, whose climate is surprisingly like our own, in no time flat. And now it’s in Maryland. Delaware. Virginia. New Jersey.
New York’s first find happened to be dead. Blind dumb luck.
How anything so pretty could be so nasty boggles the mind. But it’s the nature of nature. Since ID’ing SLF correctly is key to good IPM, let’s start with the nymphs—the young-uns. In this case they come in two snazzy colors. The early-stage nymphs are straight-on black or, once they’ve molted, black and white—handsome devils or trendy fashionistas; take your pick. For late-stage nymphs (late-stage means they molted—again—and outgrew the skin they had after they hatched), add blobs of blood-red, and that critter looks ready to conquer the world.
Which it might.
Does that bright, traffic-light red signal toxicity, as it does for many other potential prey? Right now all I know is that birds have been seen throwing up after grabbing one for a snack—and yes, they are toxic to us.
Meanwhile, adult SLFs look positively benign. Lovely, in fact. Don’t believe it for a minute. These classy lads and lassies resemble butterflies or moths, but don’t believe that either—they are, you’ll recall, planthoppers; the name refers to its mode of locomotion.
Whatever. Spotted lanternflies have a destiny. Their natural expertise in the pole-vault isn’t their only way to get around. How many roads (think interstates especially) wend their way from southeastern Pennsylvania to points north, south, east and west? Lots.
Consider your car or camper, for starters. Firewood? You’d be slack-jawed at the degree to which firewood fits into the equation. Just the eggs alone—not easy to see with a cursory look—can easily hitch rides to new areas, meaning that New York is a mere hop, skip and a jump away. Trains, tractor trailers, wheel wells, the cargo hold in a jet—this pest doesn’t need to lay its eggs on organic matter. Planning a long-distance road trip? California, here we come.
“I don’t want to scare people,” says Dr. Surendra Dara, an IPM and crop advisor at the University of California, “but it has the potential to spread, and we do not have a biological-control agent.”
Which is why you, dear reader, are our eyes on the ground.
But wait. Other than toxicity, I haven’t even told you why to be alarmed about this critter. Grapes, apples, hops—these and more high-value crops rank in the billions for New York. Apples alone ring the register at about $317 million.
New York’s forestry crops are vital, too. Here’s what forest crops provide:
- jobs for 49,200 people with payrolls of over $1.6 billion;
- manufacturing, recreation and tourism providing over $11.0 billion to our economy;
- removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, sequestering carbon, and producing oxygen critical for all life on earth;
- filtering and buffering clean drinking water for millions of New Yorkers.
As our eyes on the ground, here’s what you need to know. Signs that spotted lanternfly are at our collective doorstep include:
- sap oozing or weeping from tiny open wounds on tree trunks;
- a yeasty smell (been near a brewery lately? That’s it);
- inch-long, brownish-gray egg masses—like waxy mud when new, brown and scaly when old
- heaps of honeydew under trees and vines and covered, often as not, with black sooty mold.
Besides fruit and hops, what’s at risk? Everything from willows to walnuts—and smooth-barked trees especially. But keep in mind that many a mature tree which, once it has packed on the pounds around its waist and takes on a decidedly rough or furrowed look, looks svelte and clean-cut while still relatively young. Go outside and look at any gently-furrowed tree, and chances are you’re looking at a host. For those areas where tree-of-heaven runs rife, well—you’re looking at what might be its most favorite host of all.
Though it’s hard to wrap your mind around, it sups on some—maybe all—field crops. “We’ve seen it in some of the grain crops that are out there, soybean and what have you,” said Fred R. Strathmeyer Jr., Pennsylvania’s deputy secretary of agriculture. “It’s able to feed on many, many different things.”
Now think about honeydew. Not the drink, not the melon; rather the stuff bugs secrete as they feed. A case of in one end, out the other as they move down the chow line. Although native insects also secrete honeydew, the size of the SLF and staggering numbers that congregate from place to place makes for a remarkable amount of honeydew. Parked your car beneath an infested tree? Time to clean off those sticky windshield wipers.
For sure—this sticky mess and the swarms of insects it attracts gets in the way of outdoor fun. In Pennsylvania, where SLF populations are the densest, people near the heart of the problem can’t go outside without getting honeydew on their hair, clothes, and whatever they’re carrying. At which point “outdoor” and “fun” no longer have all that much in common.
So that’s it in a nutshell and, for spotted lanternfly, all the news that’s fit to print. For now.
Wait … now for the late breaking news:
March 7, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on So many acres, so little time: IPM’s answer to where the pests are
It might not look that way from your car window, but farmland covers 23 percent of New York. It’s the foundation of New York’s multi-billion-dollar agricultural economy—one that benefits all of us, no matter where we live.
Most of that cropped land? It’s in field crops: corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and the like. (These crops sustain New York’s dairy industry, third in the nation.) Scouting all that land for pests? A job for super-heroes—or lacking that, an efficient, well-designed app.
So IPM researchers built the app. Now Extension educators with their boots on the ground and a smartphone in their pocket can note hotspots for bad little buggers. Each entry helps map trends that matter: where the pests are, when they got there, and where they’re likely to show up next.
The educators’ audience? Why, farmers, of course.
True, right now the app is mainly used by educators tracking data. But the turnaround is quick, keeping farmers in the know and New York’s farm economy healthy. Think of it as scouting on steroids. Scouting is what keeps farmers abreast of what’s happening out in the field and what they can do to prevent or minimize damage (core values of IPM!). Downloading the data farmers need, then visualizing, manipulating, and editing it—that and more, this app does it all.