Monthly Archives: September 2015

Pest Management for Today’s Schools Workshop – October 30, 2015

Do you work for a school district served by Orange-Ulster BOCES? Join the NYS IPM Program of Cornell University and Orange-Ulster BOCES for a seminar on implementing integrated pest management within schools and on the grounds.

Lynn Braband discussing landscaping and how it affects school pest management.

Lynn Braband discussing landscaping and how it affects school pest management.

There is no fee for the workshop, but pre-registration is requested. Contact Jack DeGraw, Health and Safety Coordinator, Orange – Ulster BOCES at or 845-781-4887.


Orange-Ulster BOCES, Carl Onken Conference Center at the Amy Bull Crist Campus, 53 Gibson Rd., Goshen, NY 10924


8:00 – 8:30           Registration

8:30 – 9:00           Tenets of School IPM – Lynn Braband, NYS IPM Program

Introduction to the concepts and tools for successful integrated pest management programs on school properties. Learn how to make your pest management program more efficient and effective, and how to comply with school-related laws and policies.

9:00 – 9:45           Regulatory Update – Catherine Ahlers, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Presentation of state regulations impacting pest management on school properties.

9:45 – 10:00           Break

10:00 -11:00          Turf and Grounds IPM – Joellen Lampman, NYS IPM Program

A discussion of IPM approaches for athletic fields, lawns, and non-turf areas such as fencelines, sidewalks, and curbs. Cultural techniques for minimizing weed populations, such as heavy overseeding, will be featured along with methods for assessing insect populations. Techniques for preventing insect and weed infestations as well as pest management products allowable for use on school grounds will be reviewed.

11:00 – 12:00         Structural Pest Management – Lynn Braband, NYS IPM Program

A description of implementing IPM for management of rodents, ants, cockroaches, and other pests in school buildings. This session will include discussions of inspections, sanitation, prevention, control options for common structural pests, and record keeping.

12:00 – 12:30         Walk-Through Exercise – Lynn Braband and Joellen Lampman, NYS IPM Program

Interactive session where we will conduct a casual on-site inspection, discussing pest management aspects of situations encountered.

What now? Autumn sports field management

“Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” – Hal Borland

No disrespect to Mr. Borland, but he obviously was not in charge of keeping school athletic fields in good shape. While autumn can bring some of the best grass growing weather, when our cool season turf really thrives, it also brings students on the fields for recess, practice, physical education, and games. That can lead to a great amount of compaction and wear and tear. Combine heavy traffic with this year’s drought, and Autumn 2015 promises to be challenging.

Broadleaf weeds such as plantain are tripping hazards.

Broadleaf weeds such as plantain are tripping hazards.

The Child Safe Playing Fields Act was implemented in 2011 to reduce the impact of pesticides on students. While we are confident that we can reduce the impact of insects and weeds on athletic fields with good cultural practices, the Act failed to bolster school budgets, which often do not reflect the need for providing more training for staff, equipment, irrigation, and materials such as fertilizer and seed needed to produce safe fields. Without these resources, weeds, which cannot handle the same traffic as grass, can overtake a field. As the season progresses, these weedy areas become bare, leaving much more slippery and harder patches behind.

 So what is the minimum that should be done now to minimize the likelihood of injury?
  • Mowing -If the grass is growing, mowing should be conducted at least twice a week. Mowing increases shoot density by increasing tillering (stems that develop from the crown of the parent plant). More tillers means more traction and cushioning.
  • Fertilizing -Apply 1 pound of 50% water soluble nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. in September and ½ pound of 100% water soluble nitrogen in mid-October. Note – if you do not have irrigation, it is worth waiting until the day before rain is predicted to ensure the fertilizer is watered in.
  • Overseeding -Seed perennial rye at 2 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. weekly in high-use areas. The athletes’ cleats will make the necessary seed to soil contact. Again, this year’s drought makes this practice tricky. If you can borrow irrigation equipment, do so.
What if I can do more than the minimum?
This school soccer field is mostly crabgrass, which starts to decline just as the season begins.

This school soccer field is mostly crabgrass, which starts to decline just as the season begins.

  • Watering -Maintain adequate soil moisture but keep surfaces dry to maximize traffic tolerance. Irrigate if you can see your foot prints after walking on the turf.
  • Fertilizing -Conduct a soil test to see if other nutrients are needed in addition to the nitrogen.
  • Cultivating -Concentrating on high-use areas, solid tine cultivate in multiple directions to maintain infiltration of air and water.
  • Overseeding -Have a mixture of one part seed to ten parts soil available so coaches and players can repair divots left after heavy use.

For more information on maintaining safe, functional athletic fields, visit You will find different maintenance schedules based on number of seasons used and resources available, detailed information on different management practices, and information on “Duty of Care”, a legal obligation to a standard of reasonable care.

Protecting Pollinators: The New York Pollinator Conference – September 22

Pollinators, both wild and managed, are an important part of our environment. With so much information in the news about pollinators, NYS IPM is providing current information on pollinator health and practical strategies for everyone to enhance pollinating insects and a forum for discussion on these topics.

Syrphid Fly. Photo courtesy of David Cappaert, Michigan State University,
Syrphid Fly. Photo courtesy of David Cappaert, Michigan State University,

A conference fee $25 will cover refreshments and lunch. To register, visit Protecting Pollinators: The New York Pollinator Conference and click on Credit Card Processing: Protecting Pollinators OR send a check to Pollinator Conference c/o Janet Garlick, NYS IPM, 630 W. North Street, Geneva, NY 14456. Please make sure the name of the attendee(s) or the company name is on the check. Letters should be postmarked by September 18, 2015.


September 22, 2015, 8:30 – 4:00


Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY  12186


8:30 – 9:00      Registration

9:00 – 12:00    State of Pollinators

  • State of Knowledge on Health of Native and Managed Bee Species – Applied Research, Scott Mcart and Emma Mullen, Entomology Department, Cornell U.
  • Other Insect Pollinators – Carmen Greenwood, Suny Cobleskill
  • Adoption of Bee Friendly Policies on Government and Private Properties: Motivations, Expectations, and Results – Susan Kegley, Pesticide Research Institute, Inc.
  • New York State Pollinator Task Force

12:00 – 1:00      Lunch

1:00 – 4:00      Practical Applications for Pollinator Protection and Conservation – Success Stories

  • Current Research on Ornamental Production Options – Dan Gilrein, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County
  • Current Research on Wild Pollinators In Apple – Maria Vandyke, Department of Entomology, Cornell University
  • Practical Applications – As a Landscaper – Laurie Broccolo, Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care, Rochester NY
  • Practical Applications – As an Ornamental Producer – Mark Adams, Mark Adams Greenhouses, Adams Fairacre Farms
  • Practical Applications – Using Mason Bees – Charles Mohr, Crown Bees
  • Current Research on Pollinators and Strawberry Yield – Heather Connelly, Department of Entomology, Cornell University
  • Practical Applications – As a Gardener – Jennifer Stengle, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Putnam County