June 2, 2020

6.2.20 The proper way to use hand sanitizer

From Rutgers – first time I have seen this and I have certainly not been doing it correctly.


The proper method to apply and use hand sanitizer.  Research has shown that a two-step sanitizer method is the best method for alcohol-based sanitizers.

  1. Step 1: Apply three pumps of sanitizer from the dispenser.
  2. Step 2: Rub hands for 20 seconds making sure to cover the palms, backs of hands, and between fingers up to the wrists.
  3. Step 3: Wipe the hands on a disposable paper towel.
  4. Step 4: Apply one pump of the sanitizer from the dispenser.
  5. Step 5: Rub hands until dry.

Hand sanitizers do not take the place of handwashing before starting or returning to work; after using the toilet; before and after eating and smoking; before putting on gloves; after touching animals or animal waste or any other time hands may become contaminated under the Food Safety Modernization Act or for most audits.

June 2, 2020

Greenhouse IPM Update 6.1.20

How did it get to be June?  Have I been home that long (and did I really send all those emails)?



Honors to Margery Daughtrey!  We know she is a plant disease rock star but apparently so do others.  She now has a downy mildew – the one that affects cleome – named after her – Hyloperonospora daughtreyae (and more than half the letters in the alphabet, too).  May you all get to see Margery but not her namesake mildew.


Horticultural Research Industry has a new BMP document on Boxwood Health for production and landscape management.



Want to learn about the research funded by the Hort Research Institute and USDA?  HRI has a new web series called tHRIve (and I didn’t misspell that).  https://www.hriresearch.org/thrive-web-series


Another Cornell connection – for a video on growing in containers for your customers – Bobbie Kuhlman from the Cornell Botanic Gardens does a great job! https://cornellbotanicgardens.org/grow-your-own-vegetables-with-container-and-small-space-gardening/


June 2, 2020

6.1.20 COVID resources

You may all be too busy to read this but some is required reading and some will help you out with the requirements.  I’ll try to indicate which is which.


The new guidance on farmers’ markets does not preclude non-edibles – including bedding plants, cut flowers, etc.



NYS Dept of Health  Interim Guidance for Prevention and Response of COVID-19 at Farms – revised May 27, 2020



NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms – these plans are required



Novel Coronavirus Operator Checklist for Farms https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/05/agm-doh-dol_covid19_operatorchecklist.pdf


Department of Labor Coronavirus Tips https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/05/dol-doh-agm_farmworkerpreventiontips.pdf



Need to find your county Health Department?  They have useful information for dealing with COVID, too (at least Tompkins does).




EPA Research on COVID-19 in the Environment



Farm Bureau resources



Here’s the link for the recorded webinar

Liability for Transmission of COVID-19 to Customers of Farm & Food Businesses

Enough for today!


June 2, 2020

GDD update 5.29.20

Well, we got the heat predicted and then some. Things sure popped around here and we could use the predicted rain.


May 29                 June 3

Champlain           245                         271

Geneva                284                         321

Riverhead           316                         367


  • Elongate hemlock scale crawlers start about 360 GDD.
  • Two spotted spider mite starts about 363 GDD – spruce spider mite like it cooler so they may already be dormant, but two spotted like it warm – and dusty (hopefully you don’t have too much dust in the field but road edges might be dusty so scout there. ) Also insecticides used for other things sometimes cause a surge in mite populations as they kill off the naturally existing predators (often other mites).
  • Keep checking for Doug fir needle midge adults (200-400 GDD) with yellow sticky cards or traps.
  • Gypsy moth larvae are out there and best control is when they are smallest.  They can do an amazing job of defoliating trees so keep an eye out.  Especially if you have had them before.
  • Not common because we don’t have many pines any more for Christmas trees, but check for pine needle scale. Remember dead scales don’t fall off the needles so flip some over with a needle and see if anyone is at home before applying a pesticide (if needed).



Have a great (and I think maybe cooler) week!


June 2, 2020

5.27.20 Ag and Markets COVID updates

Ag and Markets has updated their COVID page.  You can read it all here: https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus
Thank your inspector next time you see them – Ag and Markets has been working hard behind the scenes to get horticultural operations labeled as essential and back to work!
I have excerpted the section on Horticulture:
  • Horticulture businesses, including greenhouse operations, nurseries, sod farms, and arborists, are now permitted to reopen statewide, in all regions. Please read the interim guidance for horticulture businesses.
  • Landscaping is open statewide; permissible activities have been expanded to include the care and planting of grasses, sod, plants, shrubs, and trees and the mulching, trimming, and removal of these items for disease, safety, and public health purposes.
    • Transportation of equipment and materials necessary to meet any of the above functions and irrigation to maintain plant health is permissible.
  • Gardening is open statewide; permissible activities include the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruit, trees, shrubs, etc., at home and community settings and locations.
  • Horticulture and landscaping businesses must follow the Non-Food Related Agriculture Summary Guidelines and Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Non-food Agriculture.


The $100M New York Forward Loan Fund will provide loans to small businesses, focusing on minority and women owned small businesses, that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance.


Some updates here, too https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home


June 2, 2020

Christmas tree IPM update 5.27.20

Happy summer for a few days anyway.  Sure sped up the plants (and weeds!) in my garden.


First report of gypsy moth larvae that I have heard.  Get ‘em while they are small!


Even though I could use a little more breeze today, it isn’t helpful when spraying pesticides. Rutgers has advice on reducing the potential for drift when applying pesticides.



And thinking of herbicides, some paraquat labels now require EPA training. Check the label and if it is required, you can find it here:


Don’t forget – Paraquat is a restricted use pesticide so you must be a certified pesticide applicator to use it.


I had 2 emails about root aphids this spring, so I thought I would give everyone the information. Root aphids are small and white and live on the roots of the trees (bet you saw that coming).  They usually don’t cause much trouble but with high populations on small trees, they can. (The threshold I saw was 100 on a seedling).  Since they feed on the fine feeder roots, effects of drought or too much water could be exacerbated.


You might see ant activity in the same area.


Flagship (thiamethoxam) 25WG and 0.22G are labeled for aphids (25WG) specifically for root aphids) and soil application.

I wouldn’t treat everything just the young trees in the area with the issue.


I don’t know that it is this species for sure but some information….

* section updated 6/2009 by James Young A Conifer Root Aphid, Prociphilus americanus (Walker), in True Fir Jack DeAngelis Department of Entomology, OSU 6/19/98


A few years ago some Christmas tree growers in Washington state found an aphid feeding on the roots of young true fir (Abies sp.) trees that were stunted, yellowed and in obvious decline. The aphid was subsequently identified as Prociphilus americanus (Walker), a conifer root aphid (no common name). While reported earlier feeding on the roots of true fir, often attended by ants (Lazius sp.), the aphid has never been reported to injure its host tree. In the last 2 years some Oregon growers of true fir have reported this aphid as well, again associated with young trees showing signs of stress (stunted and yellow tops, reduced root development). In fields where the infested trees are found one can also find apparently healthy trees (normal growth and color) also with aphids feeding on their roots, although usually at lower density.

APHID FEEDING. Aphids feed by piercing host tissue (leaf, stem or root) and sucking plant sap through tube-like mouthparts. While removing plant sap, aphids may also inject toxins, plant growth regulators or pathogens along with saliva to aid feeding. Feeding may therefore cause abnormal growth, disease and even terminal dieback. Aphids excrete large amounts of honeydew which is essentially unprocessed plant sap. Many insects use honeydew and therefore are attracted to these colonies.

LIFE HISTORY. Like some other aphids, P. americanus has a life history that alternates between two different host plants. The primary host harbors the sexually reproducing form while the secondary host harbors an asexually (parthenogenetic) reproducing form. For P. americanus the primary host is ash (Fraxinus sp.). Here it forms dark brown to black colonies in curled terminal new growth in early spring. These colonies may form on suckers or at the base of the tree as well. During late April through early June a winged form leaves the primary host and searches out its secondary host, true fir. Here the aphid feeds on the roots and reproduces asexually during the summer months. These wax-covered colonies may be visited by ants collecting honeydew. Honeydew-collecting ants sometimes defend their honeydew providers and may even move aphids around. During late August through October a winged form returns to ash to continue the sexual cycle. The asexual form may continue to develop on fir throughout the year. Therefore, eliminating the ash, the primary host, or even controlling the winged aphid is not likely to be an effective control for P.americanus.