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Take Action to Support Ag IPM

ipm_box_logo_322GREAT NEWS from Dr. Jennifer Grant, NYS IPM Program Director! The NY Farm Bureau has included the NYS IPM Program on their e-advocacy site—making it very easy for you and others to voice your support for restoring New York State’s Agricultural IPM funding to previous levels. Funding for Agricultural IPM got cut by 50% in 2010, and is now seeking a return to prior year’s budgets.

Farmers have relied upon Integrated Pest Management (IPM), for decades. With IPM farmers target pests and diseases in an efficient, profitable, and environmentally sensitive manner by utilizing the best and latest innovations in research and extension.  IPM is working for you by bringing you the SWD trap network and blog reports.

Please help! Simply go to the Farm Bureau’s Action Alert website, select the delivery method, fill in your contact information, and submit—it’s that easy. Please take a moment to support this important program in the 2015-16 State Budget.

For those who are able to engage in advocacy, we would greatly appreciate your support, and your passing this message onto others. You may also be interested in other action alerts from Farm Bureau.

Thank you!

SWD Workshop, 4 March, Batavia

Plan now to attend the SWD Workshop at the Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY, on March 4th. Growers of fall raspberries, mid to late season blueberries, & day-neutral strawberries: Learn how to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila in this in-depth workshop! THIS is the place to learn current SWD information, the most recent research results, and management practices.

Wednesday March 4, 2015, 8:30AM-4PM, Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY. (Plan to attend! This is our final workshop.)

Checking SWD specimens with hand lens at the Albany workshop

Checking SWD specimens with hand lens at the Albany workshop

Presentations by Cornell Researchers, Extension Educators, and New York State Berry Growers Association on SWD biology, SWD management – including insecticides, cultural practices, biological control, and spray technology – signs of infestation, and decision-making resources.

Learning about spray technology at the Albany workshop.

Learning about spray technology at the Albany workshop.

Hands-on activities on SWD trapping and monitoring, achieving good spray coverage, and sampling fruit with salt floatation tests.

Checking fruit for larva with salt floatation at the Albany workshop.

Checking fruit for larva with salt floatation at the Syracuse workshop.

Take-home a binder filled with reference information, trap supplies, SWD specimens to aid in identification, and other supplies.

  • 7 CCA credits available!
  • 5.5 DEC credits available! – Categories 1A, 10, 22, 23 & 24

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION FEE:  Per Person- Includes lunch, binder and take-home supplies. Register by February 25th. (No refunds after deadline; late registration fee: $20.)

NYSBGA Members  $25   Join the NYS Berry Growers Association and GET HALF OFF your workshop registration. The 2015 Membership fee is $125 and applies to 2 individuals per farm; $50 goes directly to berry research. The 2015 Associate Membership fee is $75, for a non-profit Ag Professional.

Non-NYSBGA Members  $50   Join the NYS Berry Growers Association and GET HALF OFF your workshop registration (see above).

REGISTER EARLY, by February 25th, to reserve your seat, lunch, and take-home goodies. Register for the Batavia SWD Workshop Online. Or, print the registration form and mail it in. More information is at www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/swdworkshops/.

Questions?

Contact: Penny Heritage, NYSBGA- Communications (518) 424-8028, pennyh@nycap.rr.com

Sponsored by:  NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and NYS IPM Program

Funding support from: NYS Legislature and NY Farm Viability Institute

2015 Cornell Guidelines available

berry-guide-thumbnailThe 2015 edition of the Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops is now available. This annual publication provides up-to-date pest management and crop production information for blueberry, bramble (raspberry and blackberry), strawberry, ribes (currant and gooseberry), cranberry, elderberry, and Juneberry (Saskatoon) production in New York State. Information on wildlife management and harvesting, handling, and transporting berry crops is also included. This publication has been designed as a practical guide for berry crop producers, crop consultants, ag chemical dealers, and others who advise berry crop producers.

In addition to the annually revised pesticide and crop production information, the following highlighted changes in this 2015 edition of the Berry Guidelines that will benefit berry producers include:

  • Revised food safety and berry crops section.
  • Updated information on spotted wing drosophila control.
  • A new weed control section on herbicide active ingredients and the weeds controlled.
  • Strawberry nutrient management guidelines split between day-neutral and June bearing varieties.
  • Revised agricultural plastics recycling information.

New for 2015 are three different product options for the Cornell Guidelines. Users can obtain a print copy, online-only access, or a package that combines print and online access. The print edition of the 2015 Berry Crops Guide Cost is $28 plus shipping. Online-only access is $28. A combination of print and online access costs $39.00 plus shipping costs for the printed book. Order the 2015 Guidelines from The Cornell Store.

 

2014 Impact Survey

Tell us how SWD affected your fruit farm in 2014.

Dear berry growers,

Dr. Hannah Burrack in the Department of Entomology at NC State is coordinating the effort again this year to estimate the impact of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on fruit crops in the Eastern USA.  This information is very valuable for a number of reasons. It helps us quantify changes in impact over time as we learn more about SWD and methods for control. It serves to document the economic challenges this pest has caused growers. And the information on SWD impact supports obtaining federal funding for research and education.  You can access the survey online at the website below. Thank you for your assistance.

Dr. Greg Loeb, Cornell University, Department of Entomology.

http://swd.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/12/measuring-the-impacts-of-spotted-wing-drosophila-in-2014-your-help-needed/

SWD Workshop, 14 Jan, Albany

Plan now to attend the SWD Workshop in the Albany County CCE office, on January 14th. Growers of fall raspberries, mid to late season blueberries, & day-neutral strawberries: Learn how to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila in this in-depth workshop! THIS is the place to learn current SWD information, the most recent research results, and management practices.

Wednesday Jan. 14, 2015, 8:30AM-4PM, CCE Albany County, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY. (Can’t make it? Plan on March 4 in Batavia, NY.)

Presentations by Cornell Researchers, Extension Educators, and New York State Berry Growers Association on SWD biology, SWD management – including insecticides, cultural practices, biological control, and spray technology – signs of infestation, and decision-making resources.

Hands-on activities on SWD trapping and monitoring, achieving good spray coverage, and salt floatation tests.

Take-home a binder filled with reference information, trap supplies, SWD specimens to aid in identification, and other supplies.

  • 7 CCA credits available!
  • 5.5 DEC credits available! – Categories 1A, 10, 22, 23 & 24

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION FEE:  Per Person- Includes lunch, binder and take-home supplies. Register by January 12th. (No refunds after deadline; late registration fee: $20.)

NYSBGA Members  $25   Join the NYS Berry Growers Association and GET HALF OFF your workshop registration. The 2015 Membership fee is $125 and applies to 2 individuals per farm; $50 goes directly to berry research. The 2015 Associate Membership fee is $75, for a non-profit Ag Professional.

Non-NYSBGA Members  $50   Join the NYS Berry Growers Association and GET HALF OFF your workshop registration (see above).

REGISTER EARLY, by January 12th, to reserve your seat, lunch, and take-home goodies. Register for the Albany SWD Workshop Online. Or, print the registration form and mail it in. More information is at www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/swdworkshops/.

Questions?

Contact: Penny Heritage, NYSBGA- Communications (518) 424-8028, pennyh@nycap.rr.com

Sponsored by:  NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and NYS IPM Program

Funding support from: NYS Legislature and NY Farm Viability Institute

SWD Workshop, 17 Dec, Syracuse

Plan now to attend the SWD Workshop in Syracuse, NY, on December 17th. Growers of fall raspberries, mid to late season blueberries, & day-neutral strawberries: Learn how to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila in this in-depth workshop! THIS is the place to learn current SWD information, the most recent research results, and management practices.

Wednesday Dec. 17, 2014, 8:30AM-4PM, Ramada Inn, 1305 Buckley Road, Syracuse, NY. (Can’t make it? Plan on January 14 in the Albany area or March 4 in Batavia.)

Presentations by Cornell Researchers, Extension Educators, and New York State Berry Growers Association on SWD biology, management- including insecticides, cultural practices, biological control, and spray technology – early warning signs of infestation, decision making resources.

Hands-on activities on SWD trapping and monitoring, achieving good spray coverage, and salt floatation tests.

Take-home a binder filled with reference information, trap supplies, SWD specimens to aid in identification, and other supplies.

  • CCA credits available!
  • 5.5 DEC credits available! – Categories 1A, 10, 22, 23 & 24

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION FEE:  Per Person- Includes lunch, binder and take-home supplies. Register by December 10th; No refunds after deadline; Late Fee: $20)

NYSBGA Members  $25   Join the NYS Berry Growers Association and GET HALF OFF your workshop registration. The 2015 Membership fee is $125 and applies to 2 individuals per farm; $50 goes directly to berry research. The 2015 Associate Membership fee is $75, for a non-profit Ag Professional.

Non-NYSBGA Members  $50

REGISTER EARLY, by December 10th, to reserve your seat, lunch, and take-home goodies. Register for the Syracuse SWD Workshop Online. Or, print the registration form and mail it in. More information is at www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/swdworkshops/.

Questions?

Contact: Penny Heritage, NYSBGA- Communications (518) 424-8028, pennyh@nycap.rr.com

Sponsored by:  NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and NYS IPM Program

Funding support from: NYS Legislature and NY Farm Viability Institute

Monitoring network wrap-up

The SWD Monitoring Network was once again a success! A big “THANK YOU!” goes out to the 18 Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University scientists who made the network possible in 28 Counties in NY. Funding for the network was provided in 2014 by the NY State Berry Growers Association, the Department of Entomology, Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Programs, Cornell Cooperative Extension County Associations and the NYS IPM Program.

All but four of the 107 SWD trapping sites in the SWD Monitoring Network caught SWD this year. Those four, in Herkimer and Saratoga Counties, were pulled once the crop was harvested or infestation was found in fruit. We continue to conduct extension at the same time as the research is being done in an attempt to stay ahead of spotted wing!

SWD was first trapped in NY about four weeks later than in 2012 and 2013. Continuous or sustained captures also occurred four weeks later than in prior years. The delayed arrival of SWD into NY spared June strawberries, cherries, summer raspberries and most blueberry varieties from infestations. However, later maturing berries such as fall raspberry, blackberry, day-neutral strawberry and possibly grapes currently are at risk.

Spotted wing first reports were posted on the SWD blog. Cornell scientists alerted growers directly and via newsletters to protect their crops when SWD was found in their area. The NY trap network seems again to have proven successful in accomplishing its primary goal of monitoring for first trap catch of SWD and disseminating information to growers. For next year, we are discussing the possibility of using a commercially available lure in the traps to simplify trapping, doing fruit monitoring, and timing trap placement to coincide with a typical crop phenology such as the end of June strawberry harvest.

First trap catch distribution for spotted wing Drosophila in the 2014 NY Monitoring Network

First trap catch distribution and timing for spotted wing Drosophila in the 2014 NY Monitoring Network

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds may enjoy eating SWD! An article in Good Produce, Berry Growers Sharing Great Ideas by Charlie O’Dell, published May 14, 2014, highlights “Unusual Way to Control SWD” one grower’s use of hummingbird feeders to attract these beautiful, pugnacious, and voracious birds. When feeding their young, hummingbirds will eat up to 2,000 small insects per day! “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.”

ruby-throated hummingbird

A ruby-throated hummingbird, native to New York, visits a typical feeder.

The diet of an average hummingbird consists mostly of flower nectar and insects. Flower nectar provides sugar to support their high metabolic rate… even higher during flight due to their rapid wing flapping rates. The insects hummingbirds eat provide them with protein, amino acids, and necessary vitamins and minerals. The insects must be small enough to swallow whole during flight – watch out, SWD! Hummingbird prey includes (but is not limited to) small beetles, flies and fruit flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and spiders.

The nectar that hummingbirds drink from flowers is simply a sugar solution. This can be easily replicated for a hummingbird feeder. The most common solution is 1 part table sugar to 4 parts water. The sugar solution should be boiled after mixing to drive off chlorine and kill yeast and bacteria, then cooled. This can then be put in a feeder. Feeders should be red or have red trim, because red is the best color for attracting hummingbirds. The feeder should be regularly cleaned of insects and the sugar solution replaced. The higher the temperatures, the more frequently the nectar will have to be changed.

To follow up on this idea for controlling SWD, I reviewed information from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Their FAQ’s have a wealth of information on hummingbirds – all of which supported the idea that attracting these birds into your late summer berry plantings of fall raspberry, blackberry, elderberry, etc. could prove highly beneficial in controlling SWD.

Attracting hummingbirds to your area

In May, hang your hummingbird feeders. Use fairly small feeders at first, and change sugar water at least every couple of days in hot weather or if feeders are in direct sunlight, and every 2-4 days when it’s cooler and feeders are shaded. Flowers in your garden, especially those with tubular red corollas, attract hummingbirds.

Q. What’s the best recipe for hummingbird nectar?

The sugar content of natural flower nectar varies, and is roughly comparable to sugar water mixtures ranging from a quarter to a third cup of sugar per cup of water. During hot, dry weather, when hummingbirds risk dehydration, it’s best to make your mixture no stronger than a quarter cup of sugar per cup of water. But during cold, rainy spells, making the mixture a bit stronger, up to about a third cup of sugar per cup of water, will not hurt your birds and may help them.

Q. Should I use red food coloring in hummingbird food?

There is absolutely no reason to add any red dyes to hummingbird sugar water. After all, natural flower nectar is clear, and hummingbird feeders have colorful parts that attract hummingbird regardless of the color of the sugar water.

Q. How do I keep ants out of my hummingbird feeder?

Many hummingbird feeders—especially the saucer variety—have a center “moat” separate from where the sugar water is placed. These feeders are easy to keep ants out of by filling that moat with water. The ants that do get down into it drown, but usually just don’t even try. If you have another kind of feeder, make sure it’s hanging by a simple rod rather than string, and coat a center spot all around, about an inch wide, with petroleum jelly. The ants won’t cross that.

Q. Should I stop feeding birds in fall so they can start their migration?

Keeping your feeders up has no influence on whether a bird will start its journey south. A number of factors trigger the urge for birds to migrate, and the most significant one is day length. As days grow shorter in late summer, birds get restless and start to head south, taking advantage of abundant natural food, and feeders where available, to fuel their flight.  Hummingbirds are no different from others and will migrate regardless of whether feeders are kept up. However, we encourage people to keep feeders up for several weeks after the last hummingbird leaves the area, just in case a straggler shows up in need of additional energy before completing the long journey south.

Hummingbird behavior

Q. How much do birds eat each day?

This varies depending on the caloric value of the food, the bird’s activity levels, and the temperature of its environment. 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.

Q. Why do hummingbirds fight so much?

Hummingbirds are aggressive for a good reason—they can’t afford to share flowers during times when not many blossoms are available because they may have to wander a long way after nectar is depleted. This aggression is so deeply ingrained that they just can’t figure out that feeders are different. Overall, you’ll feed far more hummingbirds by setting out four tiny one-port feeders than one giant eight-port one. Spread them out and the birds won’t have to see one another, arousing their territoriality. You’ll get to watch them through more windows, and they’ll be much happier, too.  (25 feeders per acre)

Q. Why do I see fewer hummingbirds in midsummer?

Adult male hummingbirds aggressively defend their territory, and if your yard is within the territory of one, he may drive all other male hummingbirds away during the nesting season.

If you have a nesting female nearby, she will visit your feeder only periodically, spending most of her time incubating her eggs. After the eggs hatch, she usually concentrates her feeding at flowers that supply tiny insects as well as nectar—insects contain the protein that her nestlings need in order to grow. Once the young have fledged, she continues feeding them for several days until the fledglings have mastered getting their own food. At this time, she may bring them to your feeders to teach them how to take advantage of this easy food supply, too. This is also when males begin migrating, with adult females soon following. So many of the hummingbirds that suddenly appear are actually migrants from farther north, just passing through.

Hummingbird migration

Q. Do hummingbirds migrate in flocks?

Hummingbirds migrate individually. When a late October straggler in the East is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, it’s usually an immature bird from further north whose mother got a late start with that nest. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are strongly migratory, but their bodies need a high level of fat to fly long distances. As people bring in their feeders in fall and frosts kill nectar-bearing flowers, those hummingbirds remaining have to go long distances between feeders, so yours may remain for a week or two before its body is replenished enough to continue. Hummingbirds are surprisingly hardy as long as they can get enough food each day, and they need extra calories during cold spells. When it’s cold, it’s not a bad idea to up the concentration of sugar to 1/3 cup per cup of water to give it more calories, which they burn while shivering.

Tragically, some of these stragglers do end up dying, but your feeder really isn’t keeping your hummingbird from migrating. Rather, your feeder is giving it its best chance to restore its body to continue on.

Q. There’s a hummingbird at my feeder in the dead of winter. Will he be okay?

Hummingbirds are remarkably tolerant of cold weather, so it’s likely your bird will be fine if it can continue to find food. You can get an idea of where hummingbirds have been found in winter by looking at maps from eBird, like this one of Rufous Hummingbird.

First find skips

SWD has arrived in New York and populations are building up. It is imperative to protect your late summer berry crops. Unfortunately, four county reports were skipped from the blog. First catch of SWD has occurred in Columbia, Tompkins, Livingston and Orange Counties.

Columbia County – first find   One male SWD was caught in Columbia County the week ending July 28, 2014 in traps set in sweet cherry by Dan Donahue, Eastern NY Horticulture Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension. No subsequent trap catch was observed at this site; traps were pulled because the crop was harvested. At another site in raspberry in Columbia County, being monitored by Cara Fraver and Laura McDermott, E NY Horticulture Program, a first find SWD female was caught the week ending August 11, 2014, also with no subsequent catch the following week. (GDD = 1698, day length = 14:31)

Tompkins County – first find   Three female SWD were caught in Tompkins County the week ending August 13, 2014 in traps set in blackberry by Jacob Robinson and Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program. The following week, August 19, 2014, 7 females and 1 male were caught at this site. (GDD = 1722, day length = 13:56)

Livingston County – first find   Five female SWD were caught in Livingston County the week ending August 18, 2014 in traps set in fall raspberry by Dave Thorp, Livingston County Cornell Cooperative Extension. The following week (August 25) no SWD were caught, BUT 17 SWD were caught the week ending September 2. (GDD = 1978, day length = 13:44)

Orange County – first find   Four female SWD were caught in Orange County the week ending August 19, 2014 in traps set in raspberry by Tim Lampasona and Peter Jentsch, Dept of Entomology, Hudson Valley Laboratory. No subsequent trap catch has been reported for this site. (GDD = 1975, day length = 13:36)

Check out the distribution map of SWD first catch in NY, woven into the NYS IPM SWD fact sheet.

 

Clinton County – first find

Seven SWD, 2 males and 5 females, were caught in traps the week ending September 2, 2014 in Clinton County. The traps were set in blueberries and monitored by Lindsey Pashow and Amy Ivy, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County. Fruit samples checked with a salt water floatation test about 10 days prior were negative for SWD larvae. (GDD = 2030, day length = 13:08)

Female spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on left and male SWD on right. Note the large ovipositor on the female and the spot on each wing of the male.

Female spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on left and male SWD on right. Note the large ovipositor on the female and the spot on each wing of the male.

keep looking »