Come visit our beneficial insect habitat plots!

You’ve read about all the different methods we are testing for establishing native wildflowers and grasses as habitat for pollinators and natural enemies of pests. You know we learned a lot in our first season. You know we’ve been using several different techniques to collect insects in these plots. And you saw a pictorial summary … Continue reading Come visit our beneficial insect habitat plots!

Creating habitat for beneficial insects: Starting Year 2

Last year I introduced you to the research field at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY where Dr. Betsy Lamb, Brian Eshenaur and I are studying and demonstrating Christmas tree IPM. One part of this project is using perennial wildflowers to attract natural enemies of pests as part of an IPM strategy. The wildflowers (and some … Continue reading Creating habitat for beneficial insects: Starting Year 2

Creating habitat for beneficial insects: Project update at the end of the first year

Fair warning, this is going to be a longer post. But partly that’s because there are so many pictures. I will start with the overview, then go a bit deeper into the weeds (literally and figuratively). To help you navigate more quickly, here’s a sort of table of contents that will quickly take you to … Continue reading Creating habitat for beneficial insects: Project update at the end of the first year

Creating habitat for beneficial insects – early summer 2018 project update

As I mentioned in my January post, I am excited to be working with two NYS IPM colleagues (Dr. Betsy Lamb and Brian Eshenaur) to demonstrate the costs, labor, and effectiveness of different methods for establishing habitat plants for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Remember, habitat for pollinators is also habitat for insects and mites … Continue reading Creating habitat for beneficial insects – early summer 2018 project update

A summer of biocontrol…in pictures

Labor Day weekend may be viewed by some as the end of summer, but farmers know that the summer growing (and harvesting!) season is far from over. Similarly, the field projects I’m involved with this summer (read more here and here) are still running. Over the fall and winter I’ll be analyzing data and sharing … Continue reading A summer of biocontrol…in pictures

Announcement – Free pollinator course for growers!

The Xerces Society is offering a free course on pollinator conservation to be held on November 7th in Basom, NY. The information will be most relevant to farmers and agriculture professionals, and priority for registration will be given to these audiences. Others who are interested in attending may join a waiting list and will be … Continue reading Announcement – Free pollinator course for growers!

If you plant it, they will come: Attracting natural enemies of pests

At this time of year, glossy catalogs start arriving in my mailbox full of pictures of all the beautiful fruits, vegetables, and flowers that I could grow after the snow melts. What these pictures don’t usually show are the arthropod (insect, mite, and related species) pests that can’t wait to eat what I plant. There … Continue reading If you plant it, they will come: Attracting natural enemies of pests

What is biocontrol?

Definitions of biological control (biocontrol, for short) vary, but biocontrol could be broadly defined as: using beneficial organisms to reduce populations of pest organisms, or to maintain them at sufficiently low levels. The beneficial organism is often called a natural enemy of the pest, or a biocontrol agent. Either the pest or beneficial organism might … Continue reading What is biocontrol?