New York State IPM Program

July 12, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on North Country Cutworm Crusader Mike Hunter receives an EXCELLENCE IN IPM Award

North Country Cutworm Crusader Mike Hunter receives an EXCELLENCE IN IPM Award

Press Release by Mariah Courtney Mottley. Media contact: Jaime Cummings

 

Fields Crop Specialist Mike Hunter is seen near a trap meant for pests entering this field corn plot.

Field crops specialist Mike Hunter works with the Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team.

Mike Hunter, a field crops specialist in the Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) at Cornell University’s Aurora Farm Field Day. Hunter was supposed to receive the in January at the crop congress meeting in Watertown but dangerous snowstorms delayed the presentation. NYSIPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.

Photo shows a western bean cutworm larva in the tip of a corn cob.

Western Bean Cutworm is a destructive corn pest.

Hunter has served the farming communities of Jefferson and Lewis counties for over 17 years as a field crops specialist. His personal experience on his family’s farm and in the private sector of agricultural business has inspired his passion for practical crop production and pest management solutions. He is considered an expert on weed management and the Western Bean Cutworm (WBC), an insect that recently invaded the North Country, and has spent years monitoring the pest and giving talks about it here and in Canada.

In 2017, Hunter was one of the first people in New York to encounter a population of WBC that were resistant to the CryF1 toxin that is incorporated into genetically modified corn. The WBCs are the larvae of a Noctuid moth notorious for causing significant yield and quality losses to corn and dry beans – the cutworm made its debut here in the Empire State in 2009. Of Hunter’s on-farm efficacy trials, Kitty O’Neil, an extension specialist in Canton NY, said, “the results were so clear and important, and Mike’s expertise is valued so highly, he was invited to speak at nine different winter field crop meetings across NY and Ontario last winter.” She continues, “Mike’s generosity and willingness to teach others has massively multiplied his impact.”

Photo shows Dr. Jennifer Grant awarding a plaque to Mike Hunter for his Excellence in IPM Award.

NYSIPM Director, Dr. Jennifer Grant awards Mike Hunter his Excellence in IPM award during the recent annual Aurora Field day at Musgrave Farm.

Hunter has collected data from pheromone trapping and field scouting, and made IPM recommendations for farmers suffering with WBC. Stephen Eisel, of the Copenhagen, NY farm where Hunter first identified the resistant pest reported, “Mike Hunter has been a great help to my farm…. We treated the fields following Mike’s recommendations and the fields recovered perfectly. Thanks to Mike and his IPM expertise, I was able to avoid a big and costly problem for my farm.”

In his role helping farmers with their crops, Hunter has also been a champion of using native beneficial nematodes (EPN) as a biological control for the alfalfa snout beetle, an invasive pest that causes much concern for farmers in the north country. Nematodes are tiny worms that parasitize and eventually kill the beetles, and stay in the soil to infect future generations of the pest. Hunter has researched the feasibility of applying EPNs to the soil via liquid manure—an application method that many farmers are excited to embrace.

Michael Kiechle, a farmer in Philadelphia NY, noted, “Over 10 years ago, Mike diagnosed a problem with Alfalfa Snout Beetle over the phone, confirmed it through farm visits and introduced me to the nematodes for control. I now have a pretty decent alfalfa crop… Mike followed up his reasoning with relevant research, and made contact with other researchers and agronomists on my behalf… He is knowledgeable, he understands agriculture and can adapt solutions to the unique needs of the farm.”

Ken Wise extension educator with NYSIPM said, “Mike takes time for everyone and helps them in a respectful and informative way.”

Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

Post by Mariah Courtney Mottley

 

May 7, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on NEWA Announces Partnership with Onset Corporation

NEWA Announces Partnership with Onset Corporation

Dan Olmstead and The New York State IPM Program at Cornell University are pleased to announce that Onset Corporation has joined the NEWA family and will be partnering to integrate HOBO® weather station data used by growers for use with insect pest and plant disease decision support tools at http://newa.cornell.edu.

The HOBO RX3000

Combining HOBO RX3000 weather stations with NEWA’s decision support tools will give farmers access to microclimate monitoring data and real-time crop management decision support, allowing for faster, well-informed farm management decisions. Growers simply select the NEWA data feed after logging onto the HOBOlink® cloud platform and then contact the NEWA Help Desk to complete the onboarding process to http://newa.cornell.edu.

Learn more about the RX3000 NEWA configuration

 Onset HOBO RX3000 Benefits

  • Free NEWA access in member states.
  • 5% NEWA discount on weather station equipment purchases.
  • NEWA tool and resource compatibility.
  • Reliable weather monitoring with low-cost data plans.
  • Hobolink® alarm notifications via text.
  • Hobolink® 24/7 data access.
  • Wide area farm coverage with HOBOnet add-on mesh network sensors (optional).

Onset is ready to answer your questions about HOBO RX3000 station configurations suitable for use with the NEWA platform. Visit the Onset NEWA partner page to learn more, or contact designated Onset support staff below with your questions regarding equipment and purchases.

Matt Sharp, Strategic Sales Representative

Environmental & Environmental Monitoring

Direct: 508-743-3126

Main: 1-800-LOGGERS (564-4377)

matt_sharp@onsetcomp.com

Farm-scale monitoring

Jamie Pearce, Onset’s VP of Marketing and Corporate Development says, “We’re very excited to be integrating our HOBO RX3000 weather station data with NEWA. Not only does it help our agricultural customer base gain actionable insights, but it also delivers the option to leverage our new wireless sensors with the HOBOnet® Field Monitoring System. Now, apple growers to vineyard managers can get a better sense of what’s happening throughout their fields.”

More About Onset

Based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Onset has been designing and manufacturing its data loggers and monitoring solutions since the company’s founding in 1981. The company’s award-winning HOBO® data logger and weather station products are used around the world in a broad range of monitoring applications, from water and coastal research to indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring. https://www.onsetcomp.com.

For more information follow the NEWA Blog or contact Dan Olmstead

 

 

April 11, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Blogs as Varied as our Program…

Blogs as Varied as our Program…

The THINK IPM Blog tries to cover the breadth of our program but if you know anything about us, it’s that pest management covers much more than cockroaches and dandelions. Here’s the rest of our blogs:

BIOCONTROL BYTES

The goal of this blog is to inform New Yorkers who are trying to control pests – on farms, in backyards, in businesses, or in homes – about the role that biological control plays (or could play) in successful integrated pest management. Additional information and resources can be found here.

The information is posted by Amara Dunn, Biocontrol Specialist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. New content will be posted approximately once a month. Click the “Subscribe” button on the right to make sure you don’t miss anything! Content may include information on the effective use of biocontrol, responses to questions from stakeholders, and updates on new or ongoing biocontrol projects of interest to New Yorkers.

If you have questions about biocontrol, you can contact Amara by email (arc55@cornell.edu), or you can call her office (315-787-2206).


CHRISTMAS TREE IPM

Brian Eshenaur is the lead on this blog and with a new evergreen planting being established at the NYSAES/Cornell Agritech, we expect to see new posts this growing season.

Sr. Extension Associate for Ornamental Crops
Integrated Pest Management Program, 2449 St. Paul Blvd., Rochester, NY 14620
(585) 753-2561

NYSIPM WEEKLY FIELD CROPS PEST REPORT

This is a seasonal scouting report providing information on presence, identification, and management guidelines for significant field crop pests in New York. This report provides timely information to help users learn about, and better anticipate, current and emerging problems and improve their integrated pest management efforts.

The report is written by Ken Wise Extension Educator with Cornell University’s New York State IPM Program for Livestock and Field Crops in collaboration with other Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel, and Jamie Cummings, Livestock and Field Crops Coordinator.


ORNAMENTAL CROPS IPM


SPOTTED WING DROSOPHILA

This blog is managed by Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program, IPM House, Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456, (315) 787-2430

SWD first reports and first finds contain GDD and day length information.

If you have questions contact her at jec3@cornell.edu. For more information on SWD, consult the websites listed in the right hand column, under More SWD Resources.


ABCs of SCHOOL AND CHILDCARE PEST MANAGEMENT

Joellen Lampman, School and Turfgrass IPM Extension Support Specialist housed at CCE Albany County, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186, (518) 441-1303, Email: jkz6@cornell.edu


TREE IPM

The content of this blog is derived from inquiries of Nurseries and Christmas Tree Farms.

The IPM Program staff fielding the questions are Brian Eshenaur bce1@cornell.edu and Elizabeth Lamb eml38@cornell.edu

The IPM Ornamentals program works with university researchers, extension educators, crop consultants and growers to identify pest management issues and find answers. We deliver the IPM solutions to growers through hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and publications.


SWEET CORN PHEROMONE TRAP NETWORK

The purpose of this site is to provide weekly reports from the NY sweet corn pheromone trap network.  The trap network is a collaboration between the NYS IPM Program, local Cornell Cooperative Extension programs, farmers, and crop consultants.  We also provide scouting and threshold information for fresh market sweet corn and links to resources on the major sweet corn insect and disease pests.  The information on these pages is maintained by Marion Zuefle, Vegetable IPM Extension Area Educator with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, with help from Craig Cramer, Communications Specialist with the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University.
To contact Marion: mez4@cornell.edu

Marion Zuefle, Vegetable IPM Extension Area Educator

Marion Zuefle

IPM House, 607 W. North St., Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456,  (315) 787-2379,  Email:  mez4@cornell.edu


YOU’RE NEWA

You’re NEWA is managed by Dan Olmstead, NEWA Coordinator, NYS IPM Program.

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) delivers weather data from weather stations primarily located on farms through the Internet at newa.cornell.edu and automatically calculates and displays weather data summaries, crop production tools, and integrated pest management (IPM) forecasts. NEWA tools promote precision IPM and crop production practices.

Dan Olmstead

Dan Olmstead, NEWA Coordinator, housed at IPM House, Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456, 315-787-2207, Email: dlo6@cornell.edu

March 1, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Formidable Fruit Doyenne Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Formidable Fruit Doyenne Earns Excellence in IPM Award

Julie Carroll received her Excellence in IPM award March 1, 2019, at the Business, Enology, and Viticulture meeting, New York’s annual conference for the grape and wine industry. She is with Jennifer Grant, NYSIPM Director, and Tim Weigle, NYSIPM Grape and Hops IPM Extension Educator.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Dr. Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Specialist.

Vital. Invaluable. These are words used to describe Julie Carroll’s IPM contributions by her colleagues. Carroll spearheaded the expansion of NEWA, a website and network which allows growers to understand how the weather will affect fungal and insect pests, and takes the guess work out of their pest management strategy. Carroll ran NEWA for over a decade. Timothy Weigle credits NEWA’s growth in not only weather stations, but also the number of states participating, to Julie’s guidance. Under her leadership NEWA went from 45 weather stations in New York State to over 500 in 12 states. He notes further that her work on improving the user experience with the grape disease and grape berry moth models on NEWA, along with Wayne Wilcox and Greg Loeb, had an enormous impact on the implementation of grape IPM in New York.

Cherry orchard scouting

Laura McDermott, Regional Extension Specialist in Hudson Falls, NY, noted Dr. Carroll’s passion for integrating pest management strategies, and called her “a determined perfectionist.”

Carroll also led the development of Trac software. Introduced in the early 2000s, the software simplified and digitized pesticide recordkeeping for large and small growers and processors alike. It allows farmers to input the information once, and generate customized reports for different processors. The software also includes reference to “IPM Elements” for grapes and other crops—a tool that helps growers assess their pest management practices. Grape processors across the state, including Constellation Brands, use TracGrape’s reports for their pesticide reporting requirements. Carroll built Trac software for five fruit crops, and partnered with a colleague to create TracTurfgrass for golf, lawns, sports fields and sod farms.

Luke Haggerty, of Constellation Brands, calls Carroll’s TracGrape software “a true breakthrough” in record keeping. As a Grower Relations rep for Constellation, he relies on information provided by NEWA: “Julie has always been very proactive in developing and delivering the products needed for our growers to produce grapes in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.”

Julie Carroll inspecting hops

Tim Martinson, Cornell Cooperative Extension Viticulture specialist, noted, “IPM is built on information and decision-making tools. Juliet has built TracGrape and NEWA into useful, practical tools for growers.”

Dr. Carroll also co-edited Organic Production and IPM Guides for grapes and several berry crops, and has regularly presented at Lake Erie Regional Grape Growers’ conferences and Coffee Pot meetings. She has conducted research on devastating pests such as the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)—investigating whether hungry hummingbirds can provide meaningful control. Dr. Carroll has also chaired the Northeast IPM SWD working groups for the last decade, bringing research scientists, growers, industry reps, and extension educators from across the region together to help find solutions. Carroll has also helped fruit growers with bird management. Tim Weigle noted that her bird-scaring tactics have saved everyone a lot of money and are more popular than the traditional neighbor-alienating air cannon.

Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.

NYS Fruit IPM website

Cornell’s Fruit Website

Today’s post written by Mariah Courtney Mottley <mmp35@cornell.edu>

February 15, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Canny Climatologist Codes his way to Excellence in IPM Award

Canny Climatologist Codes his way to Excellence in IPM Award

Keith Eggleston and NYSIPM’s Dr. Juliet Carroll

Keith Eggleston, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) received our Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award at the 2019 Empire State Producers’ Expo in Syracuse, in January.

Begun in 1995 by NYSIPM, the Network for Environment and Weather App’s (delivers weather information from farm-based weather stations from Minnesota to New Hampshire to North Carolina and feeds it into ore than 40 pest forecasting and crop production tools. NEWA’s weather data summaries and IPM forecasts give farmers the best information to make scientifically based decisions about how to manage pests. NEWA is highly valued by New York fruit and vegetable growers, largely thanks to Keith’s diligence and expertise.

How did Mr. Eggleston help? He wrote the code for the IPM forecast models on NEWA’s website, newacornell.edu. Successful? Yes! These IPM tools work so well that NEWA expanded from around 40 to over 600 weather stations and from one state to 14. The pest forecasts help farmers in NY and other states predict when pests might strike and how severe the assault may be – saving them from both spraying and losing sleep.

Keith’s colleagues cheer his insights into the nuances of climate data and his eternal vigilance regarding bug fixes, stalled models, and metadata rescue. He has been called miracle worker, tech guru, and the glue that binds the NRCC to the NEWA. Keith Eggleston makes sure that users are happy and NEWA data and model outputs are of the highest quality.

NEWA’s Dan Olmstead

Dan Olmstead, NEWA coordinator, credits Keith’s understanding of programming languages, weather, climate, and the NEWA users themselves as the foundation of the collaborative success of the project. He adds, “Keith’s real strength comes from his endless patience, calm thinking, collaborative spirit, and tenacity—all of which creates synergy… NEWA continues to grow rapidly because the tools Keith built stand the test of time and end-user scrutiny.”

Art DeGaetano, director of the NRCC, concurs. “Among the scientists involved with NEWA, Keith is the trusted voice …concerning how a model should be implemented, the design of the model, or even the proper data to use, Keith’s respectful expertise is the catalyst for reaching common ground and achieving excellence.”

Eggleston has a unique perspective on agriculture—his father was a Vocational Ag teacher and FFA Advisor; he himself a member of the agricultural fraternity, Alpha Zeta, at Cornell University. “I have always had an affinity for agriculture and have found it very satisfying to be able to help develop models that will be useful in the farming community,” he said.

Congratulations Keith!

Keith and NYSIPM Director, Dr. Jennifer Grant

For more on our Excellence in IPM Winners, visit the NYSIPM Website.

Today’s post by Mariah Mottley Plumlee, mmp35@cornell.edu

January 23, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on NEWA “Survey Says…”

NEWA “Survey Says…”

In late 2018, NEWA’s Coordinator, Dan Olmstead, and its creator, Dr. Juliet Carroll, concluded an assessment of a 2017 user survey. They, and the NEWA State Coordinators, reviewed user demographics, website content needs, and user experience before passing it on to Cornell’s Survey Research Institute.

The electronic survey included a subset of questions first asked in the 2007 survey. A summary of the 398 participants from 14 states provided a clear picture of NEWA’s impact. A more detailed summary has been shared in four posts at the NEWA Blog http://bitly12UatlMMW

Here’s the bottom line:

-NEWA is a reliable and trusted source of information among uses.

-All respondents said they would recommend NEW to other growers.

-NEWA provides reliable IPM information to support responsible management practices, enhance decision-making, and increase awareness of risks.

-96% of users say NEWA improves the timing of pesticide applications.

-NEWA has a positive impact on IPM practices.

 

Dan Olmstead presents a NEWA Workshop at the recent Empire State Producer’s Expo

 

Fewer vegetable than fruit models are available on NEWA. Cabbage maggot and onion maggot models are popular among growers (Fig. 2). Use percentages were based on the number of respondents to disease and insect model questions, which were 35 and 20, respectively. NEWA vegetable tool development is an area for future growth. In addition, promotion and education on how to use existing vegetable tools would increase use.

Dr. Juliet Carroll, Fruit IPM Coordinator, NYS IPM Program, NEWA founder

When putting the above statements into dollar figures, consider this:

Growers are saving money on an annual basis—an average of $4329—by reducing use of pesticide spray.

Estimated savings from crop loss, again on average, was $33,048.

Who uses NEWA? 75% are growers and 60% of them manage diversified farm operations.

20% of respondents managed farms smaller than 10 acres.

57% of respondents managed farms between 11 and 1000 acres.

4% had farms greater than 1000 acres.

Most NEWA growers grew apples, but a majority produced two or more commodities such as other tree fruit, grapes, berries, and tomatoes. Existing fruit and vegetable forecast tools will soon be joined by additional tools for field crops and ornamentals.

NEWA also provides links to other tools such as NOAA radar maps, USDA drought maps and websites that target particular problems like late blight or cucumber downy mildew.

FOR A FULL RECAP:

The 2017 NEWA user survey: understanding grower impact, needs, and priorities

The 2017 NEWA survey: current and potential users

The 2017 NEWA survey: IPM impact

The 2017 NEWA survey: use of models, tools, and resources

The 2017 NEWA survey: discussion and future directions

Using weather data is a primary part of IPM. Learn more about NEWA by following the YOUR NEWA BLOG and visit NEWA to see for yourself how this important resource.

December 26, 2018
by Joellen Lampman
Comments Off on 2018’s Best of NYS IPM

2018’s Best of NYS IPM

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard

2018 has been quite the year and we have been busy blogging, tweeting, videoing, and Facebooking about it. Here’s a recap of some of our more popular 2018 offerings:

ThinkIPM – our catchall blog and a great way to keep a pulse on what’s happening in New York State IPM.

Our most popular blog post was actually a guest blog by Paul Hetzler, CCE St. Lawrence County, Move Over, Medusa: Pretty? Poisonous! in the Caterpillar Clan. We’re big fans of his writing and this post on a venomous caterpillar caught a lot of your attention as well. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Are you safe now?

Ticks in February?

Ticks in the cold was also a popular topic. And relevant to now! Check out these two blog posts, Ticks don’t care what month it is and Ticks and the freezing weather. Hopefully they both convince you to keep up your daily tick checks.

While visiting our blog, you have also been checking out older posts. Our second most popular post viewed in 2018 was a 2014 post, Identifying Your Pest – with Poop?. There are a lot of budding scatologists out there.

Other IPM Blogs – Besides ThinkIPM, we have more dedicated blogs, and you don’t need to be a specialist to subscribe to them. Here are some of the more popular posts:

The Spotted Wing Drosophila blog has an obvious focus, but the post Spotted lanternfly found in two counties in NY captured the most views.

 

Biocontrol Bytes was begun at the end of 2018 and many of you have been enjoying the updates on the Creating habitat for beneficial insects project.

 

We saw a number of news reports about bed bugs in schools, so we wrote Bed bugs in schools aren’t going away in The ABCs of School and Childcare Pest Management blog. And you read it. We just wish the news reporters and commenters did too.

 

The 2017 NEWA Survey: IPM impact includes such gems as “93% agreed or strongly agreed that NEWA pest forecast information enhances IPM decision-making for their crops”.

 

Gypsy moths on Christmas trees? Check out the Tree Integrated Pest Management blog and see how it’s now a thing in the Gypsy Moth Caterpillars -Scout for them now post.

 

Facebook

When it comes to Facebook, video rules. Our most popular Facebook post was our claymation video, Life Cycle of the Blacklegged Tick (and Lyme Disease Prevention!). And, by the way, this claymation was part of a large Don’t Get Ticked NY campaign launched in 2018!

Our new Spotted Lanternfly video, Have YOU Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses was just posted, but it has already reached the number two spot. This invasive insect is getting a lot of attention and we need your help to keep track of it in New York.

 

Twitter

We’re not surprised that our most popular Tweet of 2018 was about spotted lanternfly. Follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest information.

 

 

 

Annual Report

This might be cheating, because it was just released and we have no data to show its popularity, but our 2017-2018 annual report is a 2019 calendar and everyone we have shown it to has been pretty excited.

Here’s a picture of the spotted lanternfly you have been hearing about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, as we raise our glasses to 2018 and look forward to 2019, include keeping up with NYS IPM Program amongst your resolutions.

Happy New Year!

December 10, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Dreaming of a Local Christmas–post courtesy of Paul Hetzler

Dreaming of a Local Christmas–post courtesy of Paul Hetzler

We at the NYSIPM program are always informed and entertained by the writings of CCE St. Lawrence’s Paul Hetzler. We couldn’t pass this one up!

Even Santa Claus himself cannot grant a wish for a white Christmas—it is a coin toss whether the holiday will be snow-covered or green this year. A verdant landscape is not our Christmas ideal, but we can keep more greenbacks in the hands of local people, and keep our Christmas trees and other accents fresh and green for longer, when we buy local trees and wreaths.

Not only are Christmas trees a renewable resource, they boost the regional economy. Even if you don’t have the time to cut your own at a tree farm, do yourself a favor this year and purchase a natural tree from a local vendor. She or he can help you choose the best kind for your preference, and also let you know how fresh they are. Some trees at large retail outlets are cut weeks, if not months, before they show up at stores.

There is an additional reason to buy local in 2018: The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has announced a quarantine on out-of-state Christmas trees to prevent the spread of a devastating new insect pest. The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a major pest of many tree species, as well as grapes and various other crops, but it is especially fond of sugar maples. First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, this tree-killing Asian bug has since spread into New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. SLF females lay their camouflaged eggs on almost anything, and in 2017, egg masses were found on Christmas trees grown in New Jersey, prompting the quarantine.

Of all the memorable aromas of the holiday season, nothing evokes its spirit quite like the smell of a fresh-cut pine, spruce or fir tree, wreath or garland. Although the majority of American households where Christmas is observed have switched to artificial trees, about ten million families still bring home a real tree.

Every type of conifer has its own blend of sweet-smelling terpenols and esters that account for their “piney woods” perfume. Some people prefer the fragrance of a particular tree species, possibly one they had as a child. A natural Christmas tree is, among other things, a giant holiday potpourri. No chemistry lab can make a plastic tree smell like fresh pine, fir or spruce.

Photo by Brian Eshenaur

 

The origins of the Christmas tree are unclear, but evergreen trees, wreaths, and boughs were used by a number of ancient peoples, including the Egyptians, to symbolize eternal life. In sixteenth-century Germany, Martin Luther apparently helped kindle (so to speak) the custom of the indoor Christmas tree by bringing an evergreen into his house and decorating it with candles. For centuries afterward, Christmas trees were always brought into homes on 24 December, and not removed until after the Christian feast of Epiphany on 6 January.

In terms of crowd favorites, the firs—Douglas, balsam, and Fraser—are very popular, very aromatic evergreens. Grand and concolor fir smell great too. When kept in water, firs all have excellent needle retention. Pines also keep their needles well. While our native white pine is more fragrant than Scots (not Scotch; that’s for Santa) pine, the latter far outsells the former, possibly because the sturdy Scots can bear quite a load of decorations without its branches drooping. Not only do spruces have stout branches, they tend to have a strongly pyramidal shape. Spruces may not be quite as fragrant as firs or pines, but they’re great options for those who like short-needle trees.

The annual pilgrimage to choose a real tree together has been for many families, mine included, a cherished holiday tradition, a time to bond. You know, the customary thermos of hot chocolate; the ritual of the kids losing at least one mitten, and the time-honored squabble—I mean discussion—about which tree to cut. Good smells, and good memories.

For the best fragrance and needle retention, cut a one- to 2-inch “cookie” from the base before placing your tree in the stand, and fill the reservoir every two days. Research indicates products claiming to extend needle life don’t really work, so save your money. LED lights don’t dry out  needles as much as the old style did, and are easier on your electric bill too.

The NYSIPM Program thinks about Christmas Trees all year long. Here’s Betsy Lamb at Field Days. Photo by Brian Eshenaur

Visit www.christmastreesny.org/SearchFarm.php to find a nearby tree farm, and quarantine details can be found at www.agriculture.ny.gov/AD/release.asp?ReleaseID=3821 Information on the spotted lanternfly is posted at https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/113303.html

Whatever your traditions, may your family, friends, and evergreens all be well-hydrated, sweet-scented and a source of long-lasting memories this holiday season.

July 12, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on It’s Invasive Species Week, and …

It’s Invasive Species Week, and …

We’re smack-dab in the middle of Invasive Species Week, and we’ve got info for you.

Are you a gardener? Take a look at our Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants. We’ve got garden flowers. Vines. Trees. Shrubs. Aquatics—plants that like wet feet but will do fine in many gardens.

Like to walk in the woods? Our Landscape and Forest Pest webpage alerts you to emerging pests.

New York is a hotspot for invasive species. Curious about the State of the State (as it were)—where things stand here? Take a look at our 2017 conference and watch this video.

Or you could go to NYIS.INFO … your gateway to science-based information, innovative tools, news and events—all for coping with biological invaders in New York.

Granted—it’s not the cheeriest of weeks, but it’s best we be aware. It is, after all, in our collective self-interest.

March 16, 2018
by Mary M. Woodsen
Comments Off on Pests, Pesticides and Proposals: Funding IPM Community Projects

Pests, Pesticides and Proposals: Funding IPM Community Projects

Pests and pesticides—both can pose problems to our health, our environment, and our economy. At the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM), we help New Yorkers address those problems safely and thoughtfully. How? Through innovative biological, cultural, technological, and educational practices. IPM, in a word.

Community IPM takes place in settings as varied as school buildings and grounds; residential and office buildings; gardens, parks and landscapes; and golf courses and right-of-ways. Now we invite grant proposals from qualified New Yorkers who want to develop, evaluate, or demonstrate feasible IPM methods. Budgets must not exceed $8,500. Our deadline: April 6, 2018. Funds must be spent by February 28, 2019.

The German cockroach needs no introduction. If it can get on your fork, it can get in your food. Credit Clemson University, USDA.

All projects must accomplish one or more of the following:

  • develop, advance, test or refine new IPM strategies;
  • demonstrate a link between IPM practices and reduced risk to human health or pesticide residues;
  • measure the positive change or potential impact of IPM practices or adoption, or survey current IPM knowledge;
  • develop Community IPM resources, such as brochures, websites, fact sheets, manuals, and apps for smartphones and tablets;
  • develop IPM educational programs, such as workshops or curriculum;
  • educate others about IPM through outreach and demonstrations.

Audiences could include school administrators, teachers and students; landscape and structural pest management professionals; vector control specialists; municipal employees; nuisance wildlife control operators; golf course personnel; arborists; right-of-way managers; day care operators—just about anyone, in fact. We encourage projects that reach new audiences or develop new partnerships.

Two years. Yup. Ticks know how to make good use of their time.

Our Community IPM priorities include: develop or demonstrate solid strategies for dealing with rodents or cockroaches; develop, confirm or promote methods to lessen the impact of ticks; research, demonstrate or create outreach projects that promote pollinator health and conservation; and research and demonstrate alternatives to imidacloprid on lawns and athletic fields.

Yes, there are plenty more. But for 2018, these four are our greatest needs.

Got Questions? We encourage you to discuss your ideas with NYS IPM community staff, including:

  • coordinator: Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, Long Island, 631-539-8680, jlg23@cornell.edu (Do you work outside Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension? Get in touch with Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann.)
  • educator: Lynn Braband, Rochester, 585-753-2562, lab45@cornell.edu
  • educator: Amara Dunn, Geneva, 315-787-2206, arc55@cornell.edu
  • educator: Matthew Frye, Westchester, 914-285-4633, mjf267@cornell.edu
  • educator: Joellen Lampman, Albany, 518-441-1303, jkz6@cornell.edu

NYS IPM Ornamentals IPM Staff

  • coordinator: Elizabeth Lamb, Ithaca, 607-254-8800, eml38@cornell.edu
  • educator: Brian Eshenaur, Rochester, 585-753-2561, bce1@cornell.edu

And consider: the most common critiques of past proposals have been that the budget lacked in clarity, explanation or justification—and those seeking grants didn’t discuss projects ahead of time with IPM staff.

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