Mature fields of grain crops moving in the wind is a lovely sight. Having admired the beauty of ‘cereal rye’ in a field, I asked NYSIPM Integrated Weed Management Specialist Dr. Bryan Brown if rye has been part of successful weed suppression efforts.
All crops have pests. Managing them on certified organic farms is firmly rooted in IPM practices such as crop rotation, sanitation, and the use of pest-resistant varieties. In fact, it’s written into the regulations. But despite the best IPM prevention practices, pesticides are still needed for certain stubborn pests. With organic vegetable production gaining in importance in New York—a 28% increase in the number of farms from 2011 to 2016—growers have an even greater need for objective information about allowed pest management products.
To provide that info, we teamed up with Cornell AgriTech faculty members Chris Smart, Brian Nault, and Tony Shelton to conduct trials. At the end of nine years, we have many successes that are effective options for cucurbit powdery mildew, squash vine borer, worms on brassicas, potato leafhopper, and others.
Alas, some pests still have us stymied, namely striped cucumber beetle and cucurbit downy mildew, so pesticide testing will continue. Next up, we focus on pests, beneficials, and weed IPM in organic squash production systems. And, to accommodate the increasing number of researchers working in organic systems, we’re helping Cornell AgriTech transition 24 acres of research fields into certified organic production. IPM and organic: natural partners.
(Above) Double damage. The sharp-dressed striped cucumber beetle causes direct damage, massing on newly emerged or transplanted seedlings and sometimes chewing them to the ground, while also transmitting a sometimes-fatal bacterial wilt.
Don’t Get Ticked NY!
(Above) Ticks prefer moist, warm places. Teach children to make tick-checks a personal habit—the last defense against disease transmission. Knowing the spots and bumps on their skin helps them recognize new ones—new ones that happen to have legs.
Ticks are really ticking off New Yorkers worried about Lyme disease, the United States’ number one vector-borne pathogen. It’s transmitted by the blacklegged tick found abundantly throughout our state. This particular pest can also spread diseases like anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Powassan virus. Unfortunately, additional tick species abound, and together, the many illnesses they can cause are serious threats to human health. That’s why NYSIPM is committed to reducing the impact of these little blood-suckers.
Recognizing our ability to effectively convey key risk-reducing strategies, the NYS Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases joined the fight by funding our Don’t Get Ticked NY campaign. We provide easy-to-understand information at the website, and distribute ID cards, infographics and tick removal kits to educators and the public statewide through community events, extension offices and BOCES. Last year we handed out almost 50,000 tick ID cards, a few thousand tick removal kits, and directly reached over 5,000 people.
“Tick-educated” New Yorkers now recognize tick habitats, and—rather than avoid the outdoors—now know how to look and feel for ticks during their daily tick check. While threats from ticks continue to increase, so does New Yorkers’ awareness of how to stave them off. So please … don’t get ticked, New York.
(Above) Get the pointy. Our Don’t Get Ticked New York Tick Kits are popular handouts at events across the state. You can make your own by gathering pointy tweezers, a magnifier, a mirror, alcohol wipes, and a vial or plastic bag to store the offender. But kits won’t help you if you don’t have them nearby. Our tick cards are the perfect resource to have on hand, and you can print out the same graphics from our website at www.DontGetTickedNY.org.
May 12, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on Our 2018-2019 Annual Report #6- Certified Crop Advisor Training; Saving the Douglas-fir
Growers and crop consultants need training like everyone else, so they go to school. The Northeast Region Certified Crop Advisers (NRCCA) offer regional and international certifications. NRCCA has online courses and a three-day intensive training conference covering four competency areas. And did we mention exams? Becoming a certified crop advisor takes dedication.
The curriculum covers the management of crops, soil, nutrients, and of course, IPM. NRCCA hosts experts from several universities and representatives from agribusiness who come together annually to facilitate basic and advanced trainings.
NYSIPM is integral to NRCCA training. We offer cutting-edge advanced instruction to students on how to scout for weeds, insects, and crop diseases, along with the latest environmentally-sound management recommendations. NYSIPM has become increasingly involved in field crops and vegetable training, and we now sit on the NRCCA exam board. We developed basic training video content for the IPM, plant pathology, and entomology components of the curriculum. It includes advanced field crops topics like our biologically-based bird repellant project, scouting 101, cereal leaf beetle biocontrol, and the soybean cyst nematode. We also helped NRCCA expand beyond the typical field crops arena by organizing a half-day Vegetable IPM School.
NYSIPM’s involvement in NRCCA training is an outstanding opportunity to reach industry representatives, crop consultants, custom applicators, farmers, academics, and soil and water conservation district staff with the IPM message. That’s certifiably IPM!
(Above) Pest management is an ever-changing challenge. New pests, cultural practices, and availability of products mean there’s always something to learn.
All I Want for Christmas
Everybody loves a Douglas-fir. Dignified and triangular, they have soft bluish-green needles and are native to temperate rainforests in the United States. Though not a true fir, they are the most Christmassy of Christmas trees for many. And Doug-fir has been popular with growers because of its resistance to deer damage, tolerance for warmer climates and wet soils, adaptability, and ability to grow quickly. That’s why it’s an important part of New York’s multimillion-dollar evergreen tree farming industry.
But Doug-fir has fallen out of favor with tree farmers because of Swiss needle cast disease—a fungal infection that makes the tree lose its needles and its holiday value. This iconic tree has gotten a reputation among growers for needing numerous and costly sprays.
What if this were not the case, and Doug-firs could be maintained with minimal sprays? NYSIPM ran on-farm trials and found that one or two well-timed sprays with good coverage were just as effective as the four or five sprays many growers currently apply.
Likewise, growers who adopted the reduced spray regimen report good results.
Beautiful trees and reduced pesticide applications? That gives everyone a Merry Christmas.
Douglas-fir Christmas Tree Farm
March 6, 2020
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on Soybean Disease Workshop at Cayuga County ‘Shop Meeting’
Soybean Disease Identification, Expansion of Soilborne Soybean Diseases and the Soybean Cyst Nematode in NYS, and Considerations for Soybean Seed Treatment Options for these Threats
Cayuga County CCE specialist Ron Kuck held a shop meeting at Dumond’s farm in Union Springs on February 19th. Jaime Cummings, Field Crops and Livestock IPM Coordinator at NYSIPM shared information on how to correctly identify, differentiate and manage soybean diseases, which seed treatments are most beneficial and cost-effective for soybeans in NY, and how to deal with the new soybean cyst nematode now that it’s been confirmed more widely in NY.
A good turnout on February 19 for a Cayuga County Shop Meeting. Growers concerned with soybean diseases heard the latest from NYSIPM’s Jaime Cummings.
Participants took a pre-workshop quiz to gauge their knowledge of the subject, and a post-workshop quiz to see how much they learned. And, they learned a lot! The average quiz rating before the workshop was 57%, and was 87% after. This means a 30% knowledge gain regarding when and which management methods are most effective for each soybean disease, including when pesticides are not the best option, and how to incorporate integrated pest management options for minimizing losses to the soybean cyst nematode.
Soybean Sudden Death (SDS) Foliar Symptoms
Ron Kuck received positive feedback from a number of participants, who each said that they appreciated the workshop and Jaime’s expertise and enthusiasm on the subject matter.
About 35 farmers and agriculture professionals attended February’s Shop Meeting in Union Springs, NY.
Symptoms of Northern stem canker on soybean.
Thank you to all who coordinated and attended this successful event.
“None of us is as smart as all of us.” –Ken Blanchard
Each year, NYS IPM staff are busy blogging about relevant topics. Here’s a recap of some of our more popular 2019 offerings:
ThinkIPM is our catchall blog and a great way to keep a pulse on what’s happening in New York State IPM.
No one wants to find an embedded tick.
We have spent a lot of time in the past year talking about how to prevent tick bites, from dressing in long pants, using repellents, and conducting daily tick checks. But sometimes one gets past you and you discover that new lump behind your knee has legs. There are always question about what to do next, and Help! I found a tick on me! was the most popular 2019 blog post.
Spotted lanternfly distribution map as of November 2019
Spotted lanternfly was also on your mind, and Traveling for the Holidays? provided a checklist for those traveling within the spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. Trust us when we say that you do not want to unintentionally transport Spotted Lanternfly egg masses in New York state.
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 most popular Biocontrol Bytes offering was a guest post from our collegues in the Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science, section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Anna Wallis, Kerik Cox, and Mei-Wah Cho. They discussed moving beyond antibiotics to the use of biopesticides in the post, Battling Fire Blight with Biologicals.
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:
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can call her office (315-787-2206).
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 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.
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: email@example.com
Marion Zuefle, Vegetable IPM Extension Area Educator
IPM House, 607 W. North St., Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456, (315) 787-2379, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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, NEWA Coordinator, housed at IPM House, Cornell AgriTech, Geneva, NY 14456, 315-787-2207, Email: email@example.com
January 10, 2019
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on Viticulture Innovator of Suffolk County Earns Excellence in IPM Award
Today we share a press release from Mariah Mottley Plumlee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
GENEVA NY, January 10, 2019: Alice Wise, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County Viticulture and Research specialist, received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM). The program 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 on their farms, businesses, schools, and communities, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.
Alice cutting the last cluster (2015).
Wise received her award on January10 at the Long Island Agriculture Forum.
After a tenure of more than 25 years, Wise’s contribution to the wine and grape industry of Long Island is substantial and varied. The main focus of her IPM work has been to provide growers with information and best practices to reduce and optimize the use of pesticides. Wise has conducted research on under-trellis weed management, focusing on cover crop care, all with the eye toward decreasing the need for chemical use. She has promoted the deployment of netting to protect the grapes from migrating flocks of birds, and studied the effectiveness of leaf-pulling as a way to prevent cluster rots. She has also monitored the emergence and development of grapevine viruses.
Wise manages a 2.5 acre research vineyard, where she conducts variety trials in pursuit of desirable traits like disease resistance. She shares her evaluation of vine performance and fruit quality with wine growers, and contributes to multi-year studies on the topic. Her work has allowed growers to reduce their applications of pesticide while still producing high quality grapes for use in their winemaking.
Wise also conducts research in commercial vineyards on the role of mealybugs and fruit scale in the distribution of the leafroll virus—a virus potentially devastating to the wine industry. Wise has provided vintners with tools to identify and limit the in-vineyard movement of this worrisome disease. Through a project funded by NY Farm Viability Institute, Wise scouts vineyards every other week for hot spots and provides growers with row-by-row information on the unwanted pests, allowing them to target their pesticide applications more specifically.
Richard Olsen, Bedell Cellars, in Cutchogue New York, shared that “Alice is a committed and passionate researcher who has spent her career looking at ways to reduce our chemical inputs. Our industry on Long Island would not be as successful today if not for her dedicated work.”
Alice Wise with long time friends, Wayne Wilcox, emeritus grape pathologist, and Rick Dunst of Double A Vineyards.
Wise helped to develop guidelines and regulations for Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing (LISW), the only third-party certified program for vineyards on the East Coast. LISW focuses on the use of safe low-impact pest management while guaranteeing that pesticides that can leach into the groundwater are never used. This is critical in Suffolk County, where everyone’s drinking water comes from a sole source aquifer. Wise has used her email listserv to continuously educate and update grape growers on disease pressure, occurrence, insect control problems, and recommendations.
“It is hard to overestimate Alice’s impact on the development of sustainable viticulture on Long Island and the Eastern United States… Her regular advice, both public and private, has helped each of us to make the most conservative and appropriate use of all plant protection materials,” said Laurence Perrine, CEO, Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing.
Today’s post is by Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock Coordinator
Scouting for corn pests and diseases (photo by Ken Wise)
Each year, hundreds of prospective certified crop advisors (CCA’s) prepare for the certification exams across the country. This certification is required by many reputable independent crop consultant firms for their scouts and consultants to ensure that they hire only the best and most well-informed applicants. Each region of the country has its own certification exam, including the Northeast region. Preparation for the Northeast region certification involves a three day intensive training in Syracuse in November, followed by self-study with online tutorial videos, and finally two exams in February. One exam is to earn the International Certified Crop Advisor certification, and the other is more specific to each region. It is required that all registrants pass both exams to earn their certification. Once certified, CCA’s must also earn annual continuing education credits to retain their certification and to stay current on relevant issues.
It is a challenging process, and only those who are well-prepared will pass the certification exams. The curriculum of the courses and exams covers four core competency areas: crop management, soil fertility and nutrient management, soil and water management, and pest management. Northeast regional CCA experts from the University of Vermont, Penn State University, Cornell University, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY ESF, NYS Department of Ag and Markets, USDA, DEC and other agribusiness industries, all come together to facilitate the annual basic and advanced trainings.
The steps of IPM are a key portion of the CCA training session.
The NYS IPM program has had a long history of involvement with these trainings in order to best prepare CCA’s for scouting for pests and diseases and for making sound management recommendations to their farmers, with the goal of reducing unnecessary pesticide applications through attention to thresholds and appropriate management guidelines. This year is no exception. The NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock team members, Jaime Cummings and Ken Wise, who are both CCA’s, have been preparing to host sessions in the annual training next week. Jaime developed a training video for the IPM portion of the pest management basic training and will be co-hosting the Q&A session on weeds, pest and diseases. These sessions will provide the basic background information on the concepts and practices of integrated pest management. Ken will be leading an advanced training session on the importance of crop scouting and the proper scouting methods for various pests. Ken will also be co-hosting a session with another IPM specialist, Marion Zuefle, on bird management in cropping systems. The topics for the advanced training session vary each year, and other members of NYS IPM have been involved with leading those sessions on topics such as IPM in vegetable production systems, and development and use of weather-based tools for predicting pest and disease occurrence in past years.
Scouting for insects in alfalfa. (photo by Keith Waldron)
Through our involvement in this process, NYS IPM ensures that the next generation of CCA’s understands the importance of implementing the best IPM practices throughout their careers. Earning this certification means that a CCA understands that an integrated approach to pest and disease management is the best approach to minimize risk to individuals, the environment and the farmers’ bottom line through correct identification of pests, proper scouting and attention to action thresholds to minimize unnecessary pesticide applications. As the CCA exams approach, we wish all prospective CCA’s the best of luck, and look forward to working with them on NY farms in the future! If you’re interested in more information on the CCA program, check out this six minute video.
CCAs learn the basic concepts of IPM during the training.
Jaime Cummings is the Field Crops and Livestock IPM Coordinator of the NYS IPM Program. She is housed at 524 Bradfield Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 14853
October 17, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on Seed Selection for Resistance to Insects and Diseases
Today’s post is authored by Jaime Cummings, NYS IPM Field Crops and Livestock
Whether planting a home garden or a one hundred acre soybean field, it’s important to consider all the pest, weed and disease issues that may occur during the growing season. We have many tools in the IPM toolkit to help us manage these issues, including crop rotation, hand weeding, reliance on natural predators, and use of exclusion barriers, insect traps and pesticides. But one of the most important cultural practices everyone should consider as a first line of defense against pests and diseases is genetic resistance in the varieties you select to grow.
Selective breeding, or genetic modification, for improved harvests has been occurring since the beginning of agriculture, and all modern crops have been modified in some way from their wild ancestor plants. Think about corn, also known as maize, as one familiar example. All modern corn was derived from the ancestral grass called teosinte through selective breeding by our ancestors (Figure 1). Many advancements in breeding methods and technologies have developed in recent decades, but the goal is the same: To develop elite varieties that are well-adapted to specific regions with resistance to common diseases and pests to achieve high yields. We now have a wide range of corn varieties and hybrids with different maturities, different colored and sized kernels, and different levels of resistance to a wide variety of pests and diseases (Figure 2). Some modern corn hybrids even have specific traits or genes that enable them to tolerate certain herbicides or to ward off some insect pests. All these breeding advancements have resulted in improved yields and decreased pesticide use. And there are many other disease resistance genes that have been discovered and integrated into many corn varieties. These too have significantly reduced farmers’ reliance on pesticides for managing diseases and the harmful mycotoxins produced by some pathogenic fungi.
Teosinte is the wild plant that all modern corn originated from 8,700 years ago. (Image from National Geographic)
Diversity in corn varieties developed through selective breeding efforts. (Image from USDA)
Corn is just one example among all the crops we grow with options for genetic resistance to numerous pests and diseases. We have similar opportunities when selecting varieties for our fruits, vegetables and grains (Figures 3 and 4). Choose wisely and consider the advantages of selecting varieties with resistance. Many insects and diseases plague our crops that are challenging to manage, with or without the natural or synthetic pesticides used in organic or non-organic agricultural systems. To improve your chances of success in minimizing losses, consider all the strategies of integrated pest management, starting with the seeds you select to plant.
Tomato varieties that are susceptible (left) and resistant (right) to late blight. (Image from Cornell University, Martha Mutschler)
Soybean varieties that are susceptible (left) and resistant (right) to aphids. (Image from University of Minnesota)
Whether developed through traditional selective breeding methods or high-tech genetic engineering, all of our crops have been modified from their original form to provide us with improved feed, fiber and fuel yields. When selecting varieties to plant in your garden or on your farm, take advantage of these breeding advancements, and consider choosing varieties with resistance to the pests and diseases that are commonly problematic in your area. You’ll be glad you did when you have fewer bugs chomping on your crops and fewer losses to those unsightly molds and mildews.
Jaime works with growers, dairy and livestock producers, extension educators, research faculty and staff and industry counterparts to promote the adoption of IPM practices for insect, disease and weed management for all field crops and livestock. Her work includes research and educational outreach throughout New York State.
October 5, 2018
by Debra E. Marvin Comments Off on “She Had a Field Day” More with New Field Crops Coordinator, Jaime Cummings
On Thursday, September 6, forty-five farmers attended a free Corn Plot Field Day in Cochecton, N.Y., where IPM staffers Jaime Cummings and Ken Wise gave two presentations. Event sponsors included Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC), Cochecton Mills, and Delaware Valley Farm & Garden.
Jaime Cummings, newly minted NYS Livestock and Field Crops Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, discussed two aspects of corn pests—worms and leaf diseases. A field trial tour of over a dozen varieties preceded the discussion and assessment.
As invited speaker, Jaime came with plenty of experience, but admits that while discussing insect pests, she was particularly glad for Ken’s presence and his over twenty years with the IPM program. Three major insect pests were discussed: Western bean cutworm, corn rootworm and common army worm.
Common Armyworm Damage
The second talk centered on corn foliar diseases including gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight, eyespot, and common rust.
Both northern corn leaf spot and gray leaf spot are present here.
Attendees learned about the biology and lifecycles of each disease and pest, and IPM management tactics. To aid identification and further understand the impacts on yields, farmers examined samples of insects and diseased leaves.
Western Bean Cutworm
Since starting her position in July, Cummings has been ‘boots on the ground’ in corn and soybean fields across the state, offering IPM options that help extension educators and farmers identify and manage diseases and pests. From rating a soybean white mold variety trial in western NY to searching for the soybean cyst nematode in central NY, and this corn field day in eastern NY, Cummings has jumped in with both feet to help NY field crop and livestock farmers.
Later this year, Jaime will be speaking at multiple events including these two CCE grower meetings: soybean white mold in Herkimer County, and soybean cyst nematode in Cayuga County.