New York State IPM Program

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!

 

February 21, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin
Comments Off on Dr. Jennifer Grant receives the New York State Turfgrass Association Citation of Merit

Dr. Jennifer Grant receives the New York State Turfgrass Association Citation of Merit

Verona, N.Y.

On Wednesday, February 12th, the New York State Turfgrass Association (NYSTA) Central Regional Conference provided the backdrop for a special recognition.

“NYSTA’s Citation of Merit award recognizes someone who is dedicated to turfgrass research and education, and promotes the careers of those in the turf industry. The New York State Turfgrass Association commends Jennifer for her leadership and service to the turfgrass industry and her valued commitment to environmental stewardship principles. Jennifer’s work secured the foundation of a nationally-respected IPM program. NYSTA is honored to include her in our prestigious group of Citation of Merit recipients.”

It’s clear that nominees have certainly earned the admiration and respect of their peers and colleagues. Those of us who work with her everyday couldn’t agree more.

photo of Betsy Lamb, Jennifer Grant and Steven Whipple during award ceremony

Dr. Betsy Lamb, Dr. Jennifer Grant, and NYSTA’s Vice President, Steven Whipple

NYSIPM’s own Dr. Betsy Lamb was able to announce and present the award. “I am pleased and honored to announce that the 2020 Citation of Merit is awarded to Jennifer Grant, my colleague and friend.”

Jen scouting for pests on turf

Here are some of the accolades:

Kevin Cassidy, New York State Director of Golf

“I first met Jennifer 20 years ago when she and Frank Rossi approached Bethpage State Park looking to apply their IPM research to a fully operational golf course. In 2010, what was learned initially through trial and error on Bethpage’s Green Course was expanded successfully to our entire golf operation statewide (19 facilities). I have witnessed firsthand Jennifer imparting her wisdom and passion to all of our facilities, reinforcing the fact that they can indeed provide top notch playing conditions, while doing it in an environmentally sustainable manner. I was thrilled to hear that Jen was being awarded the Citation of Merit by the NYSTA – what a well deserving recipient. Congratulations my friend!!”

Kyle Wickings, Associate Professor, Cornell Entomology

photo portrait of Dr. Kyle Wickings, Cornell Entomology

Dr. Kyle Wickings

“I have always been impressed by Jennifer’s perspective on the turfgrass industry.  Her knowledge of the needs and interests of our stakeholders and commitment to improving the sustainability of turf make for an excellent combination.  I continue to use this as a model when gauging the value of my lab’s research and extension programming.”

 

 

Julie Suarez, Associate Dean, Office of Governmental and Community Relations

Photo portrait of Julie Suarez, Governemnt Communcations Dean, Cornell

Julie Suarez

“Jennifer’s strength, grace, and great kindness are the traits I will miss the most.  I am, of course, impressed with her tremendous accomplishments in the field of IPM – the living turfgrass BMP’s, all her work with Bethpage and Parks on pollinator habitat – the list can be endless.  But what I will miss the most are the endearing personal qualities that she has always brought to her job – the steadfast commitment, perseverance, and ability to figure out how to just make things happen and frequently on a shoe string.”

Andy Wilson, Bethpage State Park Director of Agronomy

Jen and Andy Wilson during a golf course training

Jennifer and Andrew Wilson during a teaching event on Bethpage State Park Golf Course

“Jennifer’s diligence to not only Bethpage but New York State led us to be at the forefront of seeking solutions and experimenting with novel approaches to pest problems that reduce reliance on pesticides.  Those solutions and approaches sometimes do not work, which is part of the process.  Which makes me appreciate Jen’s patience.  As a golf course superintendent I can admit we are an impatient bunch.  Dr. Grant has dealt with some of our frustration and persisted in guiding us along a path where we are more thoughtful about how we maintain the golf course short and long term. When I first met Jennifer 20 years ago I did not realize how lucky I was to work with someone so talented.”

Dr. Frank Rossi, Associate Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Cornell University

Portrait of Frank Rossi

Dr. Frank Rossi

“In my thirty years of working around the world on progressive IPM, no single person has had greater impact on adoption of IPM principles that generally lead to reduced pesticide use than Dr. Jennifer Grant. She has lead industries throughout NY quietly but diligently toward principles of land management (beyond turf) that have made NY agriculture and communities among the most productive and environmentally responsible in the world.”

 

Photo shows Jen Grant kneeling to explain the use of a cup cutter to scout for grubs on turf as others watch

Scouting for pests–in this case grubs–is key to successful IPM, and IPM has always been the focus of Jen’s trainings.

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