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The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Westchester County, 630 Bedford Rd., Pocantico Hills, NY, engaged their young campers in a scientific exploration of spotted wing drosophila monitoring last year. Laura Perkins, Garden & Landscape Manager, and Juliana Gravinsky, their mentor, put together an appealing learning experience for their campers.

Busy hands make the whole wheat bread dough lures for the SWD traps set in berries at the Stone Barns Center, Westchester County.
Busy hands make the whole wheat bread dough lures for the SWD traps set in berries at the Stone Barns Center, Westchester County.

The Center has several fruit plantings, as well as wild, wooded edges. Traps were set in three raspberry plantings, one blueberry planting, wild raspberries (wineberries, Rubus phoenicolasius), and a currant patch next to the woods. The currants were planted for erosion control and a forest garden experiment at the edge of the woodland. This is the area where they first found SWD males on July 16, 2014.

Two days later they caught the first SWD in raspberries and by mid-August SWD populations were climbing, as seen by increasing numbers caught in the traps. By the end of August they were catching about 100 males per trap. The young scientists focused their efforts on identifying just the male SWD in their traps, using a simple key put together by Gravinsky. This population increase underlines why late season berries are at such high risk from SWD.

Juliana Gravinsky, Stone Barns Center, teached young scientists how to identify SWD males that might be caught in their monitoring traps set in their berry plantings.
Juliana Gravinsky, Stone Barns Center, teaches young scientists how to identify SWD males that might be caught in the monitoring traps they set in their berry plantings.

A taste of the realities of scientific research occurred when some traps were knocked over and eaten by varmints. We’ve found in our research that skunks, raccoons, and perhaps other wildlife are attracted to the vinegar drowning solution and the wheat dough bait. Trapping sites near woods are particularly prone to predation. Sometimes human intervention can be the culprit for lost traps – setting up for an event at the Stone Barns Center caused a few traps to be inadvertently spilled.

We certainly appreciated the contributions the Stone Barns Center made to our monitoring efforts last year and hope that some of the children will grow up to be entomologists, horticulturists, scientists or farmers!

We need your help to restore Ag IPM funding to the NYS IPM Program. This is a critical moment, and a phone call from you could make all the difference.

Here is an update from Julie Suarez, Assistant Dean of Governmental & Community Relations, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, regarding our situation in Albany.  I want to reiterate our request in this email—a call for action to any of you who are willing and able to seek support from your state representatives.

The back story, as we understand it, is that the Senate wanted to add $500,000 to the Agricultural IPM budget, to restore us to the historical $1million dollar level.  However, that intention was not included in the Senate’s budget that was released earlier this week. We are told that some people were confused by the Community IPM funding ($550,000) that was included in the Senate budget, and thought that Ag was taken care of.

What you can do:

  1. Call your Senate and Assembly representatives. Constituents matter.

-Explain who you are, and your role in agriculture
-Thank them for their support of Agriculture
-Say something like "Please restore agricultural IPM funding in the Ag and Markets budget to $1million by adding $500K to the governor’s proposed budget.”  This aligns with the request made in a letter from Senators Funke, Ritchie, Ortt, Gallivan, Marchione, O’Mara, Larkin and Nozzolio.
*We are told that bringing up Community IPM might just further confuse the issue, so please stick with Ag IPM.

  1. Pass this request to others who care about agricultural IPM, so they can call too.

NYS Senate Switchboard (ask for your Senator’s office):  518-455-2800 

NYS Assembly's Public Information line:  518-455-4218

Thank you so much for your support!
Juliet E. Carroll
Fruit IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program,
Cornell University
Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program & employment opportunity

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!

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


Contact: Penny Heritage, NYSBGA- Communications (518) 424-8028,

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

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.


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