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.
January 23, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on NEWA “Survey Says…”
In late 2018, NEWA’s Coordinator, Dan Olmstead, and its creator, Dr. Juliet Carroll, concluded an assessment of a 2017 user survey. They, and the NEWA State Coordinators, reviewed user demographics, website content needs, and user experience before passing it on to Cornell’s Survey Research Institute.
The electronic survey included a subset of questions first asked in the 2007 survey. A summary of the 398 participants from 14 states provided a clear picture of NEWA’s impact. A more detailed summary has been shared in four posts at the NEWA Blog http://bitly12UatlMMW
Here’s the bottom line:
-NEWA is a reliable and trusted source of information among uses.
-All respondents said they would recommend NEW to other growers.
-NEWA provides reliable IPM information to support responsible management practices, enhance decision-making, and increase awareness of risks.
-96% of users say NEWA improves the timing of pesticide applications.
-NEWA has a positive impact on IPM practices.
Dan Olmstead presents a NEWA Workshop at the recent Empire State Producer’s Expo
Fewer vegetable than fruit models are available on NEWA. Cabbage maggot and onion maggot models are popular among growers (Fig. 2). Use percentages were based on the number of respondents to disease and insect model questions, which were 35 and 20, respectively. NEWA vegetable tool development is an area for future growth. In addition, promotion and education on how to use existing vegetable tools would increase use.
Dr. Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program, NEWA founder
When putting the above statements into dollar figures, consider this:
Growers are saving money on an annual basis—an average of $4329—by reducing use of pesticide spray.
Estimated savings from crop loss, again on average, was $33,048.
Who uses NEWA? 75% are growers and 60% of them manage diversified farm operations.
20% of respondents managed farms smaller than 10 acres.
57% of respondents managed farms between 11 and 1000 acres.
4% had farms greater than 1000 acres.
Most NEWA growers grew apples, but a majority produced two or more commodities such as other tree fruit, grapes, berries, and tomatoes. Existing fruit and vegetable forecast tools will soon be joined by additional tools for field crops and ornamentals.
NEWA also provides links to other tools such as NOAA radar maps, USDA drought maps and websites that target particular problems like late blight or cucumber downy mildew.
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:
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.
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.
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
Scouting for corn pests and diseases (photo by Ken Wise)
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 steps of IPM are a key portion of the CCA training session.
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.
Scouting for insects in alfalfa. (photo by Keith Waldron)
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.
CCAs learn the basic concepts of IPM during the training.
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
June 8, 2018
by Matt Frye Comments Off on Tick and Mosquito Repellent Safety—for You and Yours
You might have noticed that we’re having a bit of a crisis with ticks and mosquitoes. They bite, they suck, and they can transmit pathogens to us during their feeding. One of the many things that we can do to avoid ticks and mosquitoes is to use repellents. But there are two important ideas to consider before picking a product from the shelf:
Not every product has been proven effective, and
The safety of a product depends on how you use it.
More than ever, an old adage reigns true: buyer beware! When it comes to tick and mosquito repellents, there are a number of products that claim to be effective—but offer no evidence or data to support the claim. This is especially true of many “natural” products with essential-oil active ingredients. Why? Products with essential-oil active ingredients don’t have to pass a scientific review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and can go to market without demonstrating that they work. These products give users a false sense of security that they are protected against biting insects when they are not. Learn more about this topic from our Tick FAQ section, What natural products can I use to repel ticks? For details on what products work, see the Insect Repellent Buying Guide from Consumer Reports
A confusing mix: some of these products can be applied to skin, others should not under any circumstance contact skin while wet. Read the label before using any pesticide product.
Product Safety and Use Restrictions: The Label Is the Law
As a pest management educator, I’ve said a million times, “the label is the law.” This is literally true—all labels of EPA registered products read, “It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.”
Here is a critical distinction about the products you might see on a shelf:
Products with the active ingredient permethrin can actually kill ticks and mosquitoes. According to one label, “This product must not be applied to clothing while it is being worn. Under no circumstances should bare skin or clothing on the body be treated.” In other words, if you’re going to use permethrin, you have to treat your clothing or gear before you intend to use it so the pesticide can dry. According to the label on one product, this may be two to four hours.
On the other hand, products with active ingredients DEET, picaridin, and IR3535 can be sprayed on clothing and skin to repel biting pests. These products work by masking the cues that make you smell tasty to mosquitoes and ticks. According to one label for these products, “Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin… Do not use under clothing… Frequent reapplication and saturation is unnecessary for effectiveness.”
We want you to enjoy the outdoors—and we want you to do it safely. Both types of products can be used to protect you, your friends, and families from the bite of blood-feeding organisms. To further protect health, always read and follow label instructions.
“I already found a tick on me!” – many people across NY
Many New Yorkers still equate tick activity with summertime, but blacklegged ticks, the ones that carry Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Powassan virus, and Borrelia miamyoti, are most active in the spring and fall. (They can actually be active year round if the temperature and humidity levels are just right. Thus the heavy activity on the warm days in February.)
The goal is to prevent ticks from becoming embedded in the first place. But if you do find an embedded tick, remove it properly!
And in the springtime the blacklegged tick nymph turns to thoughts of questing. And nymphs are small. Poppy seed-sized small. If you are not intentionally conducting a daily tick check, you could easily miss one. And even if you are intentionally looking, one can occasionally get through your visual defenses. Which is why I was able to take this tick removal video after finding this tiny nymph on my leg when using my fingertips to search by feel. Since Powassan virus can be transmitted after 15 minutes of the tick being embedded, the incentive for not being bitten has risen dramatically.
Which brings us to the use of clothing treatments to protect ourselves. Permethrin is a pesticide that can be applied to clothing, footwear and gear before exposure. Researchers for the Center for Disease Control recently conducted a study showing how permethrin interferes with blacklegged, American dog, and lone star ticks’ ability to move and, thus, to bite. Read about it here.
Now the easiest option is to buy pretreated clothing or have your clothes professionally treated. The TickEncounter Resource Center has an excellent section of their website about tick repellent clothes, including where to get them.
For DIYers, permethrin can be purchased at many sporting goods and big box stores as a liquid or aerosol spray. But it must be applied safely and correctly. I try not to react in horror as people tell me they will spray the clothes they are wearing just prior to walking out the door. This product must NOT be applied to clothing while it is being worn. Or when one’s husband announces that he left his newly treated clothing in the basement. (And, yes, he sprayed the clothes down there too.) Permethrin must be applied outdoors. Don’t take my word for it. This information, and more, is found on the label. Let’s take a close look at the label from a commonly found product. (Does not imply endorsement.)
The label is the law and will tell you everything you need to know about using a pesticide correctly and legally.
The label, which is vetted through the EPA and, in NY, the DEC, provides information on the following topics (with a few examples thrown in):
Signal Word – this is your clue to how dangerous the pesticide is. To put it simply, categories include Caution (slightly toxic), Warning (moderately toxic), and Danger (highly toxic). This formulation of permethrin is labeled Caution.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE – includes, but is not limited to:
SHAKE WELL BEFORE USING. (Emphasis theirs. It must be important!)
This product must not be applied to clothing while it is being worn. Under no circumstances should bare skin or clothing on the body be treated. (Emphasis also theirs.)
Make all applications outside.
STORAGE & DISPOSAL
Store in a cool, dry place inaccessible to children.
Never place unused product down any indoor or outdoor drain
PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS – includes “Do not use on humans.”
FIRST AID – in case you didn’t follow the precautionary statements.
This product is extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms.
We hit just some of the highlights, but it is all important. The label not only provides suggestions for using the product safely – the label is the law. That too is on the label: “Buyer assumes all risks of use, storage or handling of this product not in strict accordance with directions given herewith.”
So what is one to do? Why, follow the label of course. Decide which clothes you might wear into tick infested places and “select an outdoor area protected from the wind, spray outer surfaces of clothing (while not being worn) with a slow sweeping motion to lightly moisten the surface of the fabric, holding pump at a distance of 6 to 8 inches. Treat outer surfaces of each outfit, front and back, for 30 seconds on each side and allow to dry for at least 2 hours (4 hours under humid conditions). Pay particular attention to socks, trouser cuffs, and shirt cuffs.”
Then plan for the next application. “Clothing should be retreated after six weeks or after the sixth laundering to maintain adequate protection” I both mark the day I sprayed in my calendar and schedule an appointment for six weeks later.
By the way, professionally treated clothing also has a label, often found on the hang tag when purchased. Be sure to follow those instructions carefully as well.
Nearly two years ago, NYS IPM convened “Climate, Weather, Data,” a statewide conference focused on pests and our changing climate. Because it’s here. It’s real. So … what will a shifting climate mean for our farms and forests, our parks and gardens?
The Climate Change Garden plans and plants for the future. Photo credit E. Lamb.
We brought together researchers, crop consultants, farmers, and more from New York and the Northeast for an eye-opening glimpse into the future. One example must speak for the rest: the Climate Change Garden, housed at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, demonstrates how a range of food and nectar crops are like messengers from the future. They speak to the effects of warming oceans, drought, heavy rain, and rising temperatures on food crops, pollinator resources, and superweeds.
As if on cue, the winter of 2015-16 followed by the drought of 2016 (not to mention the rains and temperature swings of 2017) was a messenger from the future in its own right. Drought threw a monkey wrench into IPM-funded research intended to create weed forecasting models in both conventional and organic systems. Conclusions? As the researcher charitably put it, the unusual 2016 weather provided a good opportunity to look at the limiting impact of low soil moisture; with additional years of data collection, this should be a valuable year.
And take IPM research on the brown-marmorated stink bug, aka BMSB. Because of the staggering number of crops on its chow-list, and, come winter, its role as a most unwelcome houseguest in offices and homes, BMSB has plenty of people riled. But dramatic temperature swings in winter and spring (especially spring) tricked BMSB into ditching its cold hardiness too soon and falling prey to that last sudden cold snap.
We could go on, but do we need to? You get the picture. It’s a brave new world out there, and change is the name of the game.
February 14, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen Comments Off on Apple-Year and IPM’s ode to Liberty Hyde Bailey
Britannica.com describes Liberty Hyde Bailey as a botanist who “transformed U.S. horticulture from a craft to an applied science and had a direct influence on the development of genetics, plant pathology, and agriculture.” He had a profound effect on the shape of Cornell, securing state funding for the State College of Agriculture at Cornell, now CALS—without which there’d be no NYSIPM Program.
But Bailey was also a poet. From Wind and Weather, published in 1919 with roughly 130 poems, we sense an approach to horticulture that even now we’re still honing, shaping, revising.
Bailey was as committed a photographer as he was a horticulturaIist. And the Jonathan—a cultivar still grown today.
Here we offer “Apple-Year.”
My last winter apple I ate today.
Shapely and stout in their mottled skins
Securely packed in my cellar bins
Two dozen good kinds of apple-spheres lay.
And today I went to my orchard trees
And picked me the first-ripe yellow fruits
That hung far out on the swinging shoots
In summer suns and the wonder-day breeze.
And thereby it was that the two years met
Deep in the heart of the ripe July
When the wheat was shocked and streams were dry;
And the weather of winter stayed with me yet.
For I planted these orchard trees myself
On hillside slopes that belong to me
Where visions are wide and winds are free
That all the round year might come to my shelf.
And there on my shelves the white winter through
Pippin and Newtown, Rambo and Spy
Greening and Swaar and Spitzenburg lie
With memories tense of sun and the dew. Continue Reading →
January 31, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen Comments Off on Hops on top
Sometimes on a snowy evening there’s fine company to be had with good friends and a six-pack from your local brewery. So settle back and take a moment to savor what it took to get you there.
Hops flowers, once fully mature and used wet or properly dried, provide the distinctive taste that brewers build on to craft their beers. Photo provided.
Long ago yet close to home — the mid 19th through the early 20th centuries — New York led the world in hops production. Back then, we supplied that critical beer ingredient for breweries worldwide. But then two new and dastardly fungal diseases blew in and put an end to all that.
Now it’s déjà-vu all over again. With microbreweries and tasting rooms on the upswing, hop yards are too.
Yes, hops can be prey to the usual range of pests lurking in the soil or pathogens drifting in on the wind. But with Cornell’s IPM research there to support farmers, it’s different this time around. Today’s growers have a clear advantage that yesteryear’s famers sorely lacked — detailed production guides that cover a range of new techniques and research on biological and ecological IPM tactics unknown a century ago. Example? Flowering cover crops that not only suppress weeds but serve as a nectary to attract and retain the beneficial insects that keep pests under control.
Cosmos are an old-time favorite for gardeners, but hops growers have learned they provide nectar for minute (as in “tiny”) pirate bugs. These pirate bugs are a welcome predator of a difficult pest — the two-spotted spider mite. Photo provided.
Of course there’s more — much more — and IPM’s presence at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory contributes to careful research now published in the Cornell Integrated Hops Production Guide and available to farmers throughout New York and the Northeast. Let’s raise a glass to the growers and researchers who have made this possible.