Mary Woodsen’s recent blog post introduced our innovative 2018 annual report lurking inside an informative and, frankly, good-looking 2019 calendar. We’re proud of what’s inside, so to add to Mary’s post about February, March, May and November, here’s a taste of the IPM program’s accomplishments as highlighted in January, June, August and October.
And, by the way, if you’d like a 2019 calendar, let us know and we’ll get one in the mail to you! Email us today!
Whether you call city or country home, we all benefit from clean water and viable cropland. That motivates our continued efforts on behalf of our families and yours. We work with our federal partner, USDA-NIFA, and state partner agencies like the Departments of Agriculture and Markets, of Environmental Conservation and now the Departments of Health and Education. Our dedication and accomplishments in both agriculture and community issues continue to expand. Partnerships are not just for funding. The educators, faculty and staff of Cornell Cooperative Extension, plus local and regional farming associations, BOCES and community groups across the state provide direct connections to individual New Yorkers. New relationships.
For example… From chats with a few farmers over some coffee, to full-day workshops for hundreds, our Field Crops and Livestock team, Educator Ken Wise and (new!) Coordinator Jaime Cummings, cover the state.
For farmers—and those of us who love fresh vegetables—the growing season seems too short for crops like tomatoes and sweet peppers. Hence the big love for high tunnels, a type of plastic covered structure offering growing conditions (and therefore their pests) similar to greenhouses. Our train-the-trainer workshop for statewide Cornell Cooperative Extension pros helps them pass on the knowledge. In local meetings, farmers, master gardeners, high-school kids—from the newbies to the experienced—learned solid IPM practices that reduce pest problems: choosing pest-resistant varieties, getting IDs right, rotating crops and using a range of biocontrols. Most participants came away with a lot more know-how and confidence.
Public interest in locally grown vegetables increases our reach to both large-scale and niche farmers. Unable to reference all the accomplishments of our Vegetable IPM coordinator, Abby Seaman, and our Vegetable IPM educator, Marion Zuefle, in one page of a calendar, we focused on their introduction of a new Sweet Corn Scouting App.
Who knew that state park golf courses would be leading the way in environmental golf course management? (Well…other than NYSIPM and our amazing collaborators?) Not only are course managers cutting way back on pesticides, they’re planting pollinator habitat alongside the greens, tees and fairways. Efforts like these, and increased education of the public, protect our 400-plus native bee species.
Those collaborators we mentioned? It’s been almost twenty years since we began trial IPM practices on a public course with 50,000 rounds of play. Rewarded with solid results, we spread the word. When to topdress the greens? How to roll instead of mow? Which species and cultivars of grass are best suited? We’ve worked year-round, offering both winter and summer trainings on how to limit pesticides and choose those that offer the lowest environmental impact. That’s why we’re proud to be partners with New York State’s Parks and Recreation in this success.
Our August 2019 calendar also highlights a unique tool in the battle against spotted wing drosophila, a tiny invasive fruit fly wreaking havoc on NY’s fruit industry. Did you know that hummingbirds consume plenty of insects for much-needed protein? To test their effectiveness as biocontrol partners against SWD, we loaded plots with hummingbird feeders and learned these exquisitely-adapted birds keep SWD populations in check. As Mary would say, ‘a berry good thing!’
2018 brought changes for NEWA, the Network for Environment and Weather Applications. (And, oh, by the way… Julie and Dan say “new-wah”, though they’ve heard “nee-wah”, too.) NEWA’s 600-plus weather stations gather weather data and stir it all together to support 40 disease, insect, and crop forecasting tools.
After ten or so years spent by Julie Carroll to establish the network, NEWA’s size and potential became so big it needed a full-time coordinator. Dan Olmstead came on board just in time for the next big thing Julie had in mind. Thanks to the University of Albany, NEWA now includes data streams from ten of 126 New York State Mesonet instruments sited across our state. In NEWA, the Mesonet feeds additional data into our models—a direct, practical benefit for farmers. This great NEWA-Mesonet partnership is one of several collaborative projects now underway.
Here’s proof that pest forecasting reduces ineffective and costly sprays.
Agriculture contributes $5.4 billion to NY’s economy. In 2017, surveyed farmers reported that NEWA improved pesticide application timing, reduced spray applications, and reduced crop loss. (On average, $4,329 in savings, not to mention the $33,048 in the crops they didn’t lose.) NEWA usage was up, and 100% of farmers said they would recommend it to others. With a new online help desk and three new states linked in (Ohio, Wisconsin, and West Virginia), NEWA’s worth bragging about!