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Berry news

Knowing berry pests’ varied diets may help control them

Spotted-wing drosophila  on a blueberry

Spotted-wing drosophila cause billions of dollars in damage to fruit crops across Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

Cornell Chronicle [2019-08-06]

With New York state’s $20 million berry industry entering peak season, an invasive fruit fly is thriving.

Female spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii Matsumura) have a special ovipositor (a tube through which a female insect deposits eggs) with a saw-like end that allows them to cut into soft fruits and insert their eggs. The larvae and adults feed on the fruits, causing billions of dollars in damage across Asia, North and South America, and Europe.

But little has been known about how the pests survive before and after the growing season.

A Cornell study, published in May in Ecological Entomology, investigates for the first time what spotted-wing drosophila adults and larvae eat, and where they lay their eggs, when these short-lived fruits are not in season.

“They will lay eggs and successfully develop on less preferred resources and not the typical fruit that we think they prefer,” said Greg Loeb, professor of entomology at Cornell AgriTech and a co-author of the paper. Dara Stockton, a postdoctoral associate in Loeb’s lab, is the paper’s first author.

Read the whole article.

Spotted Lanternfly webinars

In conjunction with the New York State IPM Program and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Northeastern IPM Center will host a collection of webinars, titled “Spotted Lanternfly Basics.”

Each webinar will focus on, and be tailored to, a specific commodity group:

  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Hops, Berry, and Vegetable Growers (Feb. 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Grape and Apple Industries (Feb. 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Christmas Tree Growers (Mar. 4, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Industries (Mar. 4, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)

All webinars will follow a similar format that covers spotted lanternfly biology, identification, and hosts, monitoring and management strategies, and a regulatory update. While the content may be relevant to audiences throughout the Northeast, management practices covered will be specific to New York. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

For more information and registration links, go to: http://neipmc.org/go/mYey

Pollinator Conservation Short Course Nov. 7

Pollinator Conservation Short Course
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Basom, NY
Wednesday November 7th, 2018
9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

This full day workshop will focus on concepts around protecting and enhancing populations of pollinators, especially bees, in agricultural landscapes. The course will provide an overview of bee natural history and farm practices that support pollinators, such as protecting and creating habitat, modified horticultural practices, and advice on how to manage pests while protecting pollinators.

Introductory topics include the principles of pollinator biology and integrated crop pollination, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Throughout the short course these training modules are illustrated by case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country.

Registrants will receive the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Toolkit which includes Xerces’ book, Attracting Native Pollinators. as well as habitat management guidelines and relevant USDA-NRCS and extension publications.

The Xerces Society is offering similar Pollinator Conservation Short Courses, as well as Conservation Biological Control Short Courses across the country. Visit our online events page to view up-to-date short course information.

More information.

 

 

New grape, strawberry and raspberry varieties released

From the CALS News:

Fall 2017 issue of New York Berry News is available online

  Volume 16, Number 3 – Fall 2017

In this issue:

  • Exclusion Netting to Combat SWD
  • Lyme Disease: Ticks and the Diseases They Carry
  • “How to”: Berry Diseases
  • New Farmers Grant Fund Program
  • Growing frustration about the weather: What can we do?
  • SWD Webinars
  • Rainfall Survey
  • NEWA Survey and Berry Models
  • Organic Fruit Sales Surge 12%
  • Utilizing Plasticulture
  • Berry Production Course
  • High Tunnel Raspberry and Blackberry Guide
  • Root Weevils in Berries
  • SWD: Year in Review

Visit the revamped Cornell Berry Resources website to view back issues and more.

Cornell Small Farms Program offers Berry Production distance learning course

If you’re exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing.

Upon completion of this course, which starts November 7, you will understand:

  • Primary considerations when choosing a site for successful berry farming
  • Basic cultural demands of the 3 major berry crops (strawberry, blueberry and brambles)
  • Cultural requirements of an array of lesser known berry crops
  • Pest complexes of the major berry crops
  • Post-harvest requirements of berries
  • Considerations for successful marketing of berry crops
  • How to analyze costs vs. expenses and be able to incorporate them into a business plan

The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss a webinar, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

The Instructors are Laura McDermott, team leader and regional fruit and vegetable specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Eastern NY, and Jim O’Connell, the small fruits educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ulster County, NY.

More information | More Small Farms Program online courses

Berry Crops Field Workshop August 29, Stephentown, NY

Come and learn from experts!

  • Dr. Greg Loeb, Cornell
  • Dr. Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM and  NEWA
  • Dale Ila Riggs, The Berry Patch
  • Laura McDermott, CCE ENYCHP

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Plasticulture strawberry production for June berries and Day Neutral
  • Low tunnels on strawberries
  • High tunnel raspberry production
  • Exclusion netting to control SWD in blueberries
  • Using computer models to improve pest management of berry crops
  • Collaboration between NEWA and NYS Mesonet

More information.

Summer 2017 issue of New York Berry News is available online

Volume 16, Number 2 – Summer 2017

In this issue:

  • Strawberry Rootworm
  • Protecting crops from Spotted Wing Drosophila
  • Invasive Pest of Fruit Crops: Spotted Lanternfly
  • Protected Culture for Strawberries Using Low Tunnels
  • The Fall of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in New York’s Hudson Valley
  • Survey Details Impact of 2016 Drought on NY Farming
  • Ag Business Tuesdays
  • Upcoming Events
  • Organic and IPM Guides for Berries
  • Bees face heavy pesticide peril from drawn-out sources
  • Insects and Diseases According to Crop
  • Cornell Fruit Resources

Visit the newly revamped Cornell Berry Resources website to view back issues and more.

New protected culture berry production resources

Interested in extending your harvest season and protecting your berries from weather?  Here are two new resources:

  • Protected Culture for Strawberries Using Low Tunnels –  New 20-age publication by Marvin Pritts berry specialist in the Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, and and Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist, Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program.
  • Low and High Tunnels for Protected Culture for Berries — Video of presentation by Marvin Pritts, during the Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational sessions at the New Jersey Agriculture Convention and Trade Show in February 2017.

Set Strawberry Alarm Clock for Post-Apple Bloom

By Krishna Ramanujan, reposted from CALS news [2017-03-30]:

Native ground nesting bees visit apple blossoms. Photo by Heather Grab/Provided.

Native ground nesting bees visit apple blossoms. Photo by Heather Grab/Provided.

Growers who time their strawberries to bloom just after apples do can reap a better harvest, according to new research.

When apple trees blossom, the sheer abundance of flowers attracts most of the pollinators, which leaves fewer bees for other nearby crops such as strawberries and lowers their yields. But if growers time their strawberries to flower directly after a neighboring apple bloom, strawberries produce higher yields than they would if there were no apple trees nearby.

The findings, published in the March 27 issue of Nature Scientific Reports, offers growers a sustainable method for boosting yields of crops that bloom around the same time as apples.

Previous research showed that strawberries can have as much as 40 percent yield increase when bees and other pollinators visit, compared with relying on wind pollination alone.

“We are trying to figure out ways that growers can use ecosystem services to promote crop yield rather than relying on external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides,” said lead author Heather Grab, a doctoral student in the lab of co-author Bryan Danforth, professor of entomology.

Planting natural habitats around farm fields can lead to improved health of pollinators and a boost in their services, according to research. But for many growers in agriculturally dense areas, increasing natural habitats is not an option.

“Those growers need some more sustainable agriculture options,” Grab said. “If growers pay attention to timing of when crops are blooming and manipulate that by planting apple varieties and strawberry varieties that don’t overlap, you can get a boost in yield that is almost equivalent to having natural habitat nearby.”

Growers often also use mulching systems to delay strawberry blooms.

The researchers, who conducted the study in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, discovered diverse pollinator communities in the area, with at least 65 species visiting either apples or strawberries, with substantial overlap in species that visited both crops. The most abundant apple pollinators – ground nesting bees – were also the most abundant strawberry pollinators.

Grab and her colleagues set up experimental plots of potted strawberry plants in commercial strawberry fields, so they could control water, soil quality, deer herbivory and the timing of strawberry blooms. These plots were located across a gradient with apple orchards nearby in some locations and with no apples present in others. They also set up bee traps in these plots. They put out the pots of strawberries at three distinct time periods; during early apple bloom, at full-peak apple bloom, and just as apple blooms were dying out.

Future work will investigate whether this strategy also holds benefits for the pollinators, as food sources are spread out over time rather than having a large glut of food that is followed by less availability.

Co-authors included Greg Loeb and Katja Poveda, both Cornell faculty members in entomology, and Eleanor Blitzer, a biologist at Carroll College.

The study was supported by Smith Lever and Hatch funds and the United States Department of Agriculture.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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