08/26/16

Christmas tree IPM Update 8.26.16

Students are back but I’m still on summer time.  I even tried stand up paddle boarding and have the bruises to show for it.

No, no, no, no – it isn’t fall yet for me.  But there are some fall things you could do – like fertilize!  And I know that many Christmas tree growers don’t fertilize at all – but is it based on facts?  Like a soil test?  So read about fertilizing in the fall here, and how to get your soil tested here and here.

Cushions sound comfy but not this kind – Weir’s cushion rust.  And we are hearing about it more this year than before – orange blisters on blue spruce needles (do they need more problems?)  If you’ve seen it this summer, remember to treat those trees next spring.  Another reason for record keeping!

Doug fir needle midge vs. Cooley spruce gall adelgid.  They probably won’t make a movie of it but we did have a discussion on telling the two apart.  I don’t think I have seen much needle bending and yellowing from Cooley’s on Doug fir without the white fluff, but it is possible.  Here’s what Rayanne Lehman from the PA Dept of Ag says:
To distinguish between midge damage and adelgids damage, look for the cast skins of the adelgids at the needle bend. Again, the galled needle will appear swollen if viewed from the side. In late winter and early spring, these galls will also have the emergence hole on the under side of the needle.

I’m going to have to put a trap out to see if we can catch the adults next spring.

Heat accumulation – yes, indeed, this summer.  Track it for pest management with Growing degree days.  We like the NYS IPM NEWA page (look under Weather Data) because it has tables, charts and a degree day forecast.  But this page from Utah has a good description of how to do it yourself.

You’ve seen this along the roads, I bet – Dieback on eastern white pine.  If you grow white pines, keep an eye out.

Enjoy the weather now that we’ve had some rain!  Have a great week!

08/18/16

Greenhouse IPM Update 8.18.16

There are about 15 almost completed updates on my computer.  I have vowed to finish one today!  Ah, summer.

Deer-leerious plants?  That sounds like a deer approved program but it is really a marketing method for plants deer don’t like. Want the home grown angle?  Listen to Mark Bridgen’s talk from the Floriculture Field Day  and see his list of tried and true plants that make deer say ‘Yuck!’

And while you are there, check out the other videos from the Floriculture Field Day.  Carol Miller on Retail Changes, Connie Schmotzer on Pollinator Friendly Landscapes, and Paul Curtis on Deer Management – and the associated handouts and resources (scroll to the bottom).  Next year you should be there in person!

It’s been HOT (had you noticed?).  What do your plants think, and how can you tell?  You can measure crop temperatures with an infrared thermometer.  Connection to pest management?  Some insects and diseases – and beneficials – have temperature optima so finding literal hot spots in the greenhouse might answer the question of why they are pest hot spots.

Pumping iron!  We usually think about iron when we see deficiency symptoms in the spring crops. So while you are relaxing (!) this summer, here’s an article from Premier Tech Hort on the role of iron in plant growth so you’ll be ready next year!

New aphids?  Actually chrysanthemum aphid isn’t new but you don’t see it in the greenhouse much because – the main point in its favor – its only host is chrysanthemum! But as many aphids increase in number faster in warmer weather (and the best information I can find says the same about this aphid) and you may see distortion of foliage with chrysanthemum aphid, its a good idea to go scout those plants today!  (remember to check NYS labels for anything mentioned in this article)

And to give the plant pathologists equal time… how to control downy mildew on a variety of crops.  Since it has started raining again (at least around Ithaca) downy mildew is happy again.

Keeping up with pop culture!  Hey, if it sells plants . . .  And these critters sort of look like bugs.  Using Pokemon GO in your garden center.   Just watch out for players walking into things…..

Hurray!  I did it.  More soon.

07/12/16

Greenhouse IPM update 7.12.16

Too hot to think?  I hope not as there is lots of new stuff out there.  Turn up the fan and start reading!

New York State’s Pollinator Protection Plan is finished! It took a lot of people a lot of time to create.  What does it mean for you?  It has Best Management Practices for a lot of groups including Pesticide Users, Landowners/Growers, State Agencies, and Beekeepers. It includes funding for pollinator protection and IPM, invasive species prevention and eradication and farmland protection, research and outreach. Check it out!

What’s out there and coming?
Cucurbit downy mildew confirmed in Ontario, Canada  – and a new article from Meg McGrath (search for 2016 or scroll down to Cucurbit downy mildew)
Spotted wing drosophila all over NYS
Basil downy mildew – south and central NJ
Late blight on tomatoes – in Maryland
Impatiens downy mildew – in Maryland (maybe it is raining there)
I guess there is at least one advantage to drought.

Are they horror movies or tales of redemption?  You decide when you watch Koppert Biologicals’ videos of biocontrol agents eating pests.

Might you have mites?  At least some of them like hot weather.  I have them on my hops!  Griffin’s GGSPro has an article on two spotted spider mite.
And John Sanderson will be covering cyclamen and broad mites at the IPM In-depth (need a reminder?  There’s still time to sign up!)

Feeling stuffed up? Learn to unclog your drip emitters.

Have something to say?  EPA has a 60 day comment period on some pesticide registration language on combating pesticide resistance.  Find out more.

Need information on pest management for specialty crops like lavender?  OMAFRA has a blog for you.

What’s new in research?
Using far-red and blue light to reduce intumescence (edema) on tomato.

Using milk jugs, pest lures and a ‘stun pill’ to trap and kill cucumber beetles (not greenhouse but cool)-  (but what is the buffalo gourd powder in there for?)

Alabama has a new High tunnel I-book and it is free!  Granted New York isn’t Alabama but it might have some useful information and did I mention – FREE!

 

Have a wonderful week!

07/12/16

Christmas tree IPM update 7.11.16

Ah, education season – again?! Juggling conferences is so much fun – as long as I remember which one I am talking about.

And relative to the Hudson Valley Twilight, we were discussing beetles and their raster patterns.  Sound interesting?  Well, looking at the back end of a grub can tell you who is feeding on your tree roots.  Brian found one on the farm and learned that grubs bite – how else did he think they were chewing up those roots!

An interesting question came in from a new grower, so I come to you, the experts.  Do you shear differently in a drought year?  The thought was not to remove so much of the branches if it would stress the trees.  I can come up with a physiological reason that removing more means less tissue to have to find water for.  But what is the REAL answer?  Let me know.

I get questions occasionally about changing from one DEC pesticide category to another when what growers are producing changes.  I found this website on a random ramble around the DEC webpages (isn’t that what you think I do when I am sitting in my office?) – Adding or dropping a category

Brian and I will be heading west to the CTFANY summer meeting on Thursday – Saturday.  We’ll have a table in the vendor area so bring us your questions (in sealed bags to protect the farm – but not so hot they turn to mush)

06/21/16

Greenhouse IPM Update 6.20.16

Happy summer solstice!  I was picking strawberries at 9:00 last night to celebrate (or just because that’s finally when I got around to it!)

Hot enough for you?  Thrips biocontrol agents are also affected by temperature.  Michigan State notes that the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris isn’t as tolerant of temperatures over 75 F as is Amblyseius swirskii.  And Steinernema nematodes should be applied later in the evening as they prefer median temperatures between 50 and 80 F.  Orius, however, likes it hot!

New and used – well, previous.  Ball Publishing’s webinar series.  New – June 21 on Mites in the Nursery. Archived – Root rot management for annual and perennial crops http://www.ballpublishing.com/BallPub/_Webinars.aspx

Are you hungry?  How about your plants?  A Nutrient Deficiency Refresher from Chevonne Carlow at OMAFRA   Hmmm, I think I’ll eat lunch!

It just looks like dirt and water.  It is really a whole series of methods for testing your growing media from Premier Tech. http://www.floraldaily.com/article/5506/How-to-test-growing-media  And since you just learned about nutrient deficiencies, you should try it now!

Need new toys?  Insect-dropping ‘eco-drones’ for dispersing biocontrols

How about new crops?  Michigan State is holding a tour of fruit production under high tunnels on July 5, 2016. Cornell has raspberries in high tunnels but cherries?

Stay cool and have a great week!

04/21/16

Christmas tree IPM update 4.21.16

What’s happening to the Christmas trees?  Trees that looked terrific 2 weeks ago are now partially or completely covered with orange or grey needles.  I have heard mostly about firs and white spruce, but other species may also be affected.  In some cases it is worse on the SW sides of trees but not always.

Calls are coming in to me, CCE and the diagnostic lab so this is quite widespread.

Our best answer, based on the rapidity with which symptoms showed up, the range of species and locations hit, and the wide area covered is that this is not a disease but desiccation – a form of winter injury.  Winter injury with the harsh winters we’ve had recently makes more sense, but even in milder winters, trees that are losing water with no way of taking  in more, or that went in to the winter water stressed, will show needle loss.

The first response is…wait.  Wait to see if the new buds were affected or if the new growth looks good.  The benefit of new needles may vary based on the size of the tree and the potential to get enough growth before harvest but waiting a few weeks will tell you what you have so you can decide what to do.

Find more information from Cornell and MSU.

Feel free to call or email if you have questions, or send pictures if you wish.