New York State IPM Program

June 12, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Our 2018-2019 Annual Report – Nematodes, Spotted Lanternfly… a last Look and Recap

Our 2018-2019 Annual Report – Nematodes, Spotted Lanternfly… a last Look and Recap

Today we reach the end of our in-depth look at our most recent annual report from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. While many of you receive it in the mail, the large number of in-person sharing we generally do as we speak with people around the state was obviously limited. We continue to do our best to reduce risk from pests and treatments, and to reduce the risk of Covid-19.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO A RETURN TO THE MANY WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS, ON-SITE EVALUATIONS and GATHERINGS THAT WE VALUE AS PART OF OUR FOCUS!

 

photo of is microscopic worms known as nematodes

Steinernema-spp under magnification.

Nematodes Go to School

For decades, researchers and practitioners alike have played around with beneficial nematodes to control insect pests in turf and agricultural crops. These nematodes are microscopic worms that move through soil looking for host insects to infect. Once inside a grub or other insect, the nematode releases bacteria that feed and reproduce, eventually releasing a toxin that kills the host. As an added bonus, nematodes often persist for years in the soil after just one application—they’ve been shown to permanently establish in both alfalfa and corn. Nematodes are an ideal biological control agent because they occur naturally in soil and can be applied to boost pest control. Now these tiny but mighty native worms have been enlisted to help protect school playing fields from pests, and to help teach science, too. Dr. Kyle Wickings, a Cornell entomologist, has been using native New York beneficial nematodes on school playing fields to target grubs, and to reduce the need for pesticide sprays. NYSIPM staff teamed up with him to train teachers in four school districts to add nematode sampling to their science curriculums. In addition to student-collected data, the team inoculated eight playing fields at three schools and then sampled the fields in the fall for signs that the little worms were sticking around. To date, results have been too variable to make recommendations, but our researchers—as tenacious as these worms—will keep on testing.

Joellen Lampman and Cornell Cooperative Extension staff and Master Gardeners examine soil and nematodes

(Above) Students learned that these beneficial nematodes (round worms) might be hard to see without a microscope, but are hard at work attacking grubs in the soil under the playing fields. David Chinery, Horticulture and Turf Educator at CCE Rensselaer County, helps this middle school teacher get her hands dirty.

Here, during our Nematodes in the Classroom Workshop, she sifts through soil for dead wax worms that indicate whether nematodes are present and successfully parasitizing insects.

The Spotted Lanternfly: They Get Around

Hailing from Asia, the spotted lanternfly (SLF) arrived in Pennsylvania in 2012 on landscaping stone. They’ve been ravaging vineyards and making a mess of backyards ever since. SLF are clumsy fliers but adept hitchhikers. They lay their eggs on practically any hard surface—wood, rusty metal, railroad cars, and shipping containers are all fair game. SLF has been called, “the worst invasive we’ve seen in 100 years.” Of their arrival here, New Yorkers now say, “It’s not a question of if, but when.” A bright spot is the incident command structure formed by New York’s Departments of Environmental Conservation, Agriculture and Markets, and Parks. They started preparing early, and asked NYSIPM to help with outreach and awareness. Our goal? Immediate identification and education to prevent SLF establishment for as long as possible. Delaying their imminent debut gives us more time to inform the public, while allowing researchers to expand the management toolkit—including the use of natural enemies. We’ve created pest alerts, online courses, identification guides, YouTube videos, slide sets, and webinars. NYSIPM talks about SLF a lot. In the first year our staff mentioned SLF in more than 60 presentations, alerting nearly 2,500 participants representing the grape, wine, apple, hops, ornamentals, vegetable, berry, turf, and landscape industries. The good news? The efforts seem to be working. At the time of printing, a few SLF have been sighted in New York, but no infestations found. We want to give a shout-out to our friends in Pennsylvania who have generously shared information, and to New York’s government agencies and extension educators for getting the word out.

Four adult lanterfly on tree bark

(Above) Dressed to kill. These beautiful yet destructive adult spotted lanternfly adults are out and about in the late summer and fall. Watch for them, but also for egg masses and nymphs the rest of the year.

In closing, our annual report is an important part of our program because it showcases our service to our stakeholders and justifies the trust of our collaborators and funders. Highlighting many, but not all, of our accomplishments takes time. Collecting the stories and photos–after narrowing down the list of ideas–and then writing concise and interesting stories is the work of our director and commodity directors. After the retirement of our lead staff writer, Science Writer Mary Woodsen, we want to thank Mariah C. Mottley for her contribution!

graphic shows the names of IPM staff and the backcover information included on our annual report. This list includes are collaborators across the state and thanks the writers and Karen English for her graphic design.

April 17, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Our 2018-2019 Annual Report: #1 Director’s Report, and a Look at 30 Years of Grape IPM

Our 2018-2019 Annual Report: #1 Director’s Report, and a Look at 30 Years of Grape IPM

photo is of a research field in Geneva NY

(Above) Two splendid September days saw many visitors to our Open House and Twilight Field Day. Master Gardeners, growers, and researchers chatted with NYSIPM staff about our Christmas tree research and wildflower plots. Can establishing pollinator and natural enemy habitat also reduce pest problems? We’re finding out. Project Leaders: Amara Dunn, Elizabeth Lamb, Brian Eshenaur.

This new blog series will highlight the stories we were proud to share in our latest annual report! Download the entire report brochure here.

photo of NYSIPM Director Jennifer Grant

NYSIPM Director Jennifer Grant

Director’s Message

With new arrivals like the Asian longhorned tick, New York’s pest problems are everchanging; so is pest management. Crop production, tillage, pruning and harvesting practices all look different than a generation ago. Old, broad-spectrum chemical pesticides are giving way to biologically-based and species-specific products. But IPM principles are just as relevant today as they were when the concept of IPM was developed over a half century ago.  For example …

Prevention: Together with our state agency partners, we’re holding off the introduction of spotted lanternfly into New York, while preparing growers for its eventual arrival.

Monitoring: Our network for environment and weather applications (NEWA) is more in demand than ever, incorporating weather data into pest prediction models.

Risk Reduction: Two decades of researching and teaching low chemical use practices on state park golf courses, and measuring environmental impact, have made us national leaders in risk reduction in golf.

Decision-making and record keeping: Our apps for sweet corn, hops, and conifers will soon join those we created for greenhouse biocontrol, western bean cutworm, and field crops scouting.

Non-chemical control: We’re testing and teaching cultivation and cover cropping for weed management, and raising awareness of biological control approaches.

Protecting non-target organisms: IPM goals of protecting humans, wildlife, pets, and beneficial organisms—including pollinators—are alive and well.

IPM is perpetually new and fresh, and ready to address today’s challenges on farms and in communities. Please read on and learn what the New York State IPM Program (NYSIPM) has been up to lately.

Three Decades of Successful Grape IPM

Thirty years ago, New York State grape growers faced an out-of-control pest, the grape berry moth (GBM)—despite four or five insecticide sprays a year. After developing a new IPM protocol for assessing GBM risk and managing the pest, researchers needed someone to show growers how to use it in their vineyards. That’s when, funded by the state, NYSIPM hired its first grape IPM specialist. Once on board, Tim Weigle demonstrated research-based techniques for GBM management to growers in the Lake Erie Region. The program was a wild success. Weigle got growers’ sprays down to one or none by applying Cornell IPM know-how. And the crop? Virtually moth-free.

Photo shows Tim Weigle standing in a vineyard

Tim Weigle

Over the decades, Weigle went on to develop, test, and teach solutions for a myriad of insect, disease, and weed problems in vineyards—not just in NYS, but across the Great Lakes region. He reached over 1,500 growers, processors, and fruit workers annually. How? Via educational meetings, workshops, webinars, podcasts, videos, and newsletters. Likewise, Weigle helped colleagues develop IPM guidelines, field guides, record-keeping software, and most recently collaborated on digital vineyard management tools.

In 1992, Weigle helped develop NEWA, the Network for Environment and Weather Applications. Today, weather stations live-stream data to inform IPM forecasts that address the five main threats to vineyard health. NEWA’s online network gives up-to-the-minute decision support so growers know when their crops are at risk—or not—thereby reducing extra sprays. Weigle ushered in e-NEWA, directly delivering NEWA results to growers by email, and in 2019 he doubled Lake Erie weather stations to 44, bringing IPM forecasts to even more grape growers.

Most recently, as the threat of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) looms across New York, Weigle brought his entomology and education skills to the forefront again, leading NYSIPM’s SLF awareness and outreach campaign. And his perceptive people-skills remind us that it’s not just vineyard managers who need to be vigilant, but every traveler passing through the SLF-infested areas to our south. Weigle has just retired, leaving large shoes to fill in grape IPM.

Grape and Hops IPM Extension Educator Tim Weigle, like some of the pests he helped growers successfully manage, is now a rare sight out in the field. His 2019 retirement from NYSIPM means more than an empty desk at the Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab, his base since its opening ten years ago. For 30 years, Tim partnered with researchers, growers, and industry to protect New York’s land and water. We hope Tim is now enjoying the fruits of his labor, literally!

 

For more on any aspect of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, please visit our website!

 

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