New York State IPM Program

June 25, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
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Pollinator Protection Resources

a large wild pollinater feeds on a raspberry flower

A wild pollinator feeding on a fall raspberry flower. Photo by J. Carroll

 

More and more homeowners and small-gardeners are choosing to reduce or end their use of pesticides. Not just for the health of their family and pets, but to reduce the risk of harming pollinators. Growers and farmers have multiple reasons to reduce pesticide use: reduced cost, reduced health risk to their families and employees, lost revenues in an ever-growing marketplace asking for ‘organic’ produce, and reducing pesticide resistance in pests. Yet high pest pressure in commercial operations, even organic growers, is the reality.

For those responsible for growing our food, chemical effects on pollinators have been a concern for many years. Loss of honeybee populations have been tied to multiple sources which, when put together, have a multiplied effect: colony die off. And we all know that loss of pollinators has a significant effect on food production.

Growers and farmers must examine many integrated pest management options–that’s why we’ve been examining and sharing science-based research for over thirty years!

Recently, Dr. Juliet Carroll provided some great pollinator photos on her SWD (that’s Spotted Wing Drosophila) blog and she suggested we share her list of pollinator resources for fruit growers.

Photo shows a carpenter bee on a blueberry blosson. Blueberry blossoms are white round flowers very much resembling what the mature blueberry will look like.

A carpenter bee zooms in on a blueberry flower, anxious to drink its delicious nectar. Another pollinator is working flowers in the upper right. Photo: J. Carroll

Here’s Julie’s bulleted list of pollinator resources she’s shared  in the Lake Ontario Fruit Program’s Fruit Notes newsletter:

Protect pollinators! Help them out by avoiding use of harsh insecticides through petal fall. Help your crop out by mowing flowering weeds during bloom time so pollinators focus on your crop.

Post information supplied by Dr. Juliet Carroll

Julie Carroll inspecting hops

Fruit IPM Coordinator, IPM House, 607 W. North St., Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456

March 1, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
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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>

October 11, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
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Hummingbirds as Pest Management Partners?

A recent NYS Berry Growers Association newsletter highlighted Dr. Julie Carroll’s work on hummingbird interactions with spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Robin Catalano, author of the article, referenced two posts from Julie’s SWD blog. Today, we’re offering a taste (a one part water, four parts sugar taste), but encourage you to visit each post for more detail.

(CC BY-SA 2.0) Flickr “Mike’s Birds”

It all began when, in her 2014 blog post entitled Hummingbirds, Julie shared an article from Good Produce, Berry Growers Sharing Great Ideas by Charlie O’Dell: “Unusual Way to Control SWD”, one grower’s use of hummingbird feeders to attract these beautiful, pugnacious, and voracious birds. O’Dell wrote, “Robert Hays of Hays Berry Farms at Dumas, MS, installs 25 hummingbird feeders per acre in his six acres of blackberries and fills each with a plain, clear, sugar-water solution. He estimates there are more than 500 hummingbirds flying around his fields on picking days, some even landing briefly on pickers’ arms or hats. Between his beneficial insects and his hummingbirds, he has not had to spray.”

Do you know that hummingbirds will eat up to 2,000 small insects per day when feeding their young?

A hummingbird’s diet consists mostly of flower nectar and insects. Nectar provides sugar for their high metabolic rate, while insects provide protein, amino acids, and necessary vitamins and minerals. Besides fruit flies, hummingbirds consume (in one effective swallow) tiny beetles, flies, gnats and mosquitoes. To bring these beauties near, many people supplement natural nectar sources with a solution they purchase or mix on their own. It’s important to sterilize the feeders often or boil the solution to reduce yeast or bacterial growth. The warmer the temperatures, the more frequently the nectar should be changed. Oh, and skip the red dye.

Before commencing her field trial, Julie consulted The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s FAQ’s . We suggest you do the same!

In short:

Use fairly small feeders at first, and change sugar water at least every couple of days. During hot, dry weather, when hummingbirds risk dehydration, it’s best to dissolve no more than a quarter cup of sugar per cup of water. (Up that to one third cup during cold, rainy weather.)

To reduce ant interference, use hummingbird feeders that have a center “moat”. Another option is coating the hanger rod with petroleum jelly.

Hummingbirds can consume 100 percent of their body’s weight in sugar water or nectar every day, in addition to as many as 2,000 tiny insects! Before migration, it’s not unusual for a hummingbird to double its weight, adding a huge amount of fat to power the long journey.

Because of competition for food, it’s best to set out a few small feeders rather than one large one. Adult males defend their territories during nesting season, so you’ll see fewer in midsummer when nesting females are busy incubating.

Hummingbirds as Pest Management Partners?

Over the last four years, Julie’s research in raspberry plots at Cornell AgriTech has shown promise as an alternative tactic to reduce SWD impact. Her recent post Hummingbirds May Reduce SWD addresses her findings.

Julie saw fewer SWD caught in traps where hummingbird feeders are located, compared to more being caught where there are no hummingbird feeders, in a transect along a raspberry planting.

Intrigued, a blueberry grower and a raspberry grower each gave it a try this past season to see if such an effort was feasible. Both growers cleaned the feeders and changed the sugar solution twice per week to keep the hummingbirds well fed and active within their plantings. Were they successful? We can tell you that, during a workshop held on one site, multiple growers considered adding this ‘tool’ to their pest management toolbox.

At the August, 2018 workshop held in Salem, NY, several of the tiny birds were seen dashing about.

Preliminary data analysis for 2018 shows that when SWD numbers are very low or very high, there is little to no difference in the number of SWD caught in Scentry traps placed in area of the field with hummingbird feeders compared to those in the area of the field without feeders. However, when numbers are moderate, there was a difference. Along a transect down the length of the field, the trend was fewer SWD in the hummingbird feeder area compared to the no-feeder area, as shown in the chart.

While placing and maintaining 25 hummingbird feeders per acre (the number of feeders used in her research) may be a bit arduous for some growers, there are other ways to attract hummingbirds to your berry planting. Allocate space for their preferred flowering plants, such as alternating rows of Monarda (bee balm).

Unfortunately, SWD “season” is much longer than that of our hummingbird helpers. When SWD populations explode in late summer, they remain difficult to control. By now, these lovely flying predators have likely flown South on their journey to the Yucatan peninsula in Central America.

What does this all mean to you? Growers like Robert Hays watched what was going on in his fields and tried something new. This is a key tenet of Integrated Pest Management. Scouting and using innovative methods and multiple approaches can work together to reduce pests and pesticide use.

Dr. Juliet Carroll,  Fruit IPM Coordinator
NYS IPM Program, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 W. North Street, Geneva, NY 14456

February 21, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on Planning for pollinators: No time like now

Planning for pollinators: No time like now

$1.15 billion. That’s what the 450 species of wild pollinators that call New York home contribute to our agricultural economy each year. But we’ve seen alarming declines in pollinators of every stripe and color. Some are bees and wasps. Others are flies and butterflies (and on the night shift, moths). Their loss is worrisome to everyone from rooftop gardeners to farmers with a thousand-plus acres in crops. These people depend on pollinators to grow the foods we eat, foods ranging from pumpkins and pears to blueberries and beans.

In fact, anyone with a garden or even planter boxes on their balcony has reason to care about pollinators. And there’s no time like the present to start planning for this year’s pollinator plantings.

This hover fly is among the hundreds of wild pollinators that contribute to NY’s ag economy—not to mention our parks and yards. (Photo courtesy D. D. O’Brien.)

IPM’s mission covers everything from farms and vineyards to backyards and parks, protecting all kinds of non-target plants and animals (even covert pollinators like tiny bees and flies ). That’s why we were invited to help out in 2015 when Governor Cuomo announced an interagency task force, led by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, to develop and promote the New York State Pollinator Protection Plan, or PPP. In fact, New York is among the first 10 states to officially adopt a PPP.

The PPP was released in 2016. And the best thing is, it’s not going to stay on the shelf. This is a living document, a roadmap of sorts to guide IPM researchers and educators, farmers and householders as they plan IPPM—Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management protocols — to keep pollinators healthy for decades to come.

We’re pleased to be aboard.

January 16, 2015
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on Back to School for Fruit Growers | IPM and More

Back to School for Fruit Growers | IPM and More

Kicking off February, two Lake Ontario Winter Fruit Schools back to back:

February 2, 2015
8:00 am 4:00 pm
Niagara County CCE Training Center, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, NY 14094

February 3, 2015
8:00 am 4:00 pm
Wayne County, Quality Inn, 125 North Main St., Newark, NY 14513

You’ll learn about recent research results, new pest issues, disease control, new technologies, and fruit-supply topics that will help you compete in the ever-changing marketplace — and produce high quality fruit. Workshop leaders include guest speakers from the Cornell faculty and the Lake Ontario Fruit Program team. Also included: a concurrent session for Spanish speaking employees at the same locations. Lunch is included in the cost of registration.

Pests are ever-present in our orchards and vineyards. Go Back to School for helpful info.

Pests are ever-present in our orchards and vineyards. Go Back to School for helpful info.

Here’s the complete schedule for both events. Find registration info here: monroe.cce.cornell.edu/events. (The Wayne County info really is there, but on some browser windows it’s hidden under the photo on the left.)

More fruit schools the following week in Northern NY and the Hudson Valley:

February 9, 2015, The Northeast NY Commercial Tree Fruit School, The Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center, Lake George, NY. More info, registration:

February 10 – 12, 2015, The Lower Hudson Valley Commercial Fruit Growers’ School, Garden Plaza Hotel, Kingston, NY.  More info, registration.

Are you a vegetable grower?

Stay tuned for several vegetable schools later in February.

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