Greenhouse IPM update 2.17.17

The sun is shining in my office window, which makes me want to head home. But I’ll stick around long enough to send this off to you (and hope you find time to get out in the sun, too)

I gave a talk on biopesticides so guess what? I have information on biopesticides for you!

Looking for biopesticides that are appropriate for a particular problem – heck, even if you are just looking for pesticides for a particular problem? IR4 has a cool labels database which includes efficacy data so you can compare! Its got a good search page and links to labels, even tells you if it is acceptable for organic production. I LOVE it when people make my job easier!

Spear and Spear T are biological insecticides – based on spider peptides no less (Charlotte! Who knew!) – newly registered for NYS. Spear is registered for ornamentals, edible, and turf (a variety of Lepidoptera and thrips). Spear T is labeled for thrips management in greenhouses. If you’ve tried them, I’d like to hear about efficacy.  To find NYS labels go to  NYS PAD and look under Names – Spear and Registrant – Vestaron.

Apps, apps and more apps. Of course, my favorite is my own and you can watch me talk about it at a Horticulture seminar  (January 30 blog post) It is called Greenhouse Scout and is available on Apple and Android.

19 for Nurseries! And other plant geeks.

Greenhouse Grower’s App (only for Apple smart devices) – a set of 12 production calculators and a free Lite version of 5 of them). It is from Australia so the measurements are in different units.

Now that you are (or are thinking about) warming up your greenhouses for the spring crop, don’t assume that the cold weather killed off all the insect pests. They are diabolically clever at surviving (remember some of them survive outside in the winter, too). A great article from UMass with additional resources to convince you.  Want to know what’s popping out before the plants go in? Hang sticky cards under the benches if there is enough soil on the floor for fungus gnats and thrips to survive in, or near where pests might come in to the greenhouse and see what you catch.

I’ve heard one report so far of broad mite (admittedly not in NY but they like it here, too) so here’s Dan Gilrein’s broad mite post from e-Gro. There are other posts on the topic there, too – just Google e-Gro and broad mite and they will pop up, just like broad mites)

Aphids will tolerate cooler temperatures than some pests so we have seen aphids happily going about their unfortunate business in overwintered perennials in tunnels in late winter (is it late winter yet?). And heard anecdotally that people have successfully used ladybugs to control them. So, an article from Suzanne Wainwright-Evans (the BugLady) on using wild collected ladybugs  (Don’t even think about it!)

Enough for one post! But lots more to come.


Christmas tree IPM update 2.15.17

Hooray for snow!  Not too much at a time and not too cold works for me!  And we need the water to get us out of drought conditions.

So this doesn’t seem very ‘IPMy’ but production factors make a difference in pest management.  More bugs and diseases next time!  Promise!

How to keep your trees happy and green? Michigan State just put out 2 articles on fertilizer sources:
Part 1 and Part 2

They also reference a U Minnesota (Go, Gophers!) article on the nitrogen cycle in soil

And Rutgers has a nice article on Soil Fertility Recommendations for Christmas Trees  with information on when to apply nitrogen.  They recommend 3 weeks before bud break but also discuss using a split application of spring and fall applications.  I must admit, I favor a split application for risk avoidance in case the weather at one season is not helpful.

So how does one calculate 3 weeks before bud break?  We haven’t found any calculators yet.  I’ve looked for information on temperature or other conditions that might help but haven’t found what I was looking for yet.  So it is up to you and your experience!

You can still register for the webinar series on Christmas tree genetics and Tree Improvement.
They have been quite interesting.  If you register, they will send you the recorded webinars even if you can’t attend.  Here are links for the first two.

Feb. 1 webinar, “The Tree Improvement Process: Selection, Testing, & Breeding,”

Feb. 8 webinar: “Capturing Genetic Gains: Seed Collection Zones & Seed Orchards,”

I love getting responses to my emails.  The information on costs for producing an acre of trees caused at least a few of you to 1) laugh hysterically, 2) shake your heads in disbelief or 3) send me a response.  Jon Freckleton is willing to let me reprint his here and I am doing it because I think it brings out a lot of information – especially for new growers – that is really important.  It makes the point that real growers are a resource that should not be ignored and that the ability to balance all these factors is an incredible skill!  And, regardless of the frustrated tone, Jon loves growing and selling trees!  So thanks for helping those of us in research and extension to get a real world view.  This might actually lead to a grant and some locally produced information!

I reviewed the attachments and the persons writing them must be on drugs!  Seven to ten year cycles are ridiculous and selling 5′, 6′ and 7’max trees is a dream that will not come true!  All have time and expense of monitoring but then lack the hours to call IPM, show to IPM, buy and apply spray, or cut out bad trees!  They are all growing in the land of milk and honey.  None have an “oh *&%$#” late frost that kills a years growth! All show constant dollars!  Where is real world inflation?  Where is liability insurance? Repair tools?  All imply accuracy to either the penny, or the dollar!  None reflect the real world repairs, dealing with nests of yellow jackets, woodchucks, deer, etc.  None show time to drive for parts, supplies, Urgent Care, IPM and grower schools.  None show cost of Grower Organization membership.  None show time and expense of applicator license, etc.  None show office mgt time, and tax prep time.  None show time to market trees, time with buyers marking trees, and to carry trees that haven’t sold.  None show winterizing and storing equipment, etc etc.  None show serious rain gear and gloves, none show safety equipment: chain saw gloves, chaps, helmet, shoes and boots.  None show Comp Ins, and other insurance and permits to legally hire help; nor a discussion of the risks of hiring “under-the-table” help we are forced into at small farms.

1- WP article: costs too low
2- PA article: very good write up at start; costs to the penny imply accuracy to the penny!!  Costs do NOT reflect minimum quantity of material that can be purchased; repair costs way too low and lacks repair hours, where is the machinery the fuel is burned in?
3- Oregon: 90% 6-7!? market wants 8+; 1500/ac!!  must have roads; Repair on tractor @ $.5 & truck @ $.15; while backpack @ $2.14, elev at $12, and baler @ $18????  Tractor and trk way too low (in 40+ yrs my only back pack repair was a lost tip); need insurance on shop: five years to 6-7′ Gr 1???  No mowing? Again implied accuracy to a penny!!  Assumes market to sell all trees at 6-7′ at decent price!!
4- Kentucky: starts great and then: again no roads with 1200/ac, again done in 7 yrs, too much machinery that is only used once and the prices shown are for very used equipment so there needs to be money in tools and parts.  Fifth year pruning with sale sized trees in 16hr?? coloring with a 4g backpack in 4 hr!!  All mowing with a tractor with 3.5′ bush hog in full sized trees!!  and selling 6-7′ in five years, won’t happen since that bush hog is going to ruin lower branches (especially at 6×6 planting) selling 5′ & 6′ trees!!!??? demand is 8 – 10 and up.  again no repair hours.

Have a great week!


Greenhouse IPM Update 2.12.17

How did it get to be February?!  And almost Valentine’s Day?  A great excuse to buy flowers and plants….maybe tomatoes?  They are ‘love apples’ after all.

Instead of thinking ‘babe magnets’ how about pest magnets – those plants that always get an insect pest first.  The best thing about them?  They are great places to scout to find out who’s bugging you early before populations rise.  Michigan State has a handy list of insect magnets.

Ball Hort has a large collection of upcoming and recorded webinars on pest management topics, among other things.  Root rot, mites, nematodes, weeds – what’s not to love?  And several are aimed at nursery operations, too.

Want a home grown webinar series?  We (Brian’s in there, and John and Neil and Jud Reid and more) are putting on webinars aimed at training Extension Educators (those folks who help you get questions answered) in greenhouse and high tunnel vegetable crop IPM.  They will be archived shortly after they are completed.  Here are the topics to come:
Feb 16: In-ground fertility/water management – Judson Reid
Feb 23: Production factors for greenhouses and high tunnels that relate to IPM – Amy Ivy
Mar 2: Disease management in greenhouses and high tunnels – Brian Eshenaur/Amy Ivy
Mar 9: Insect management in greenhouses and high tunnels – John Sanderson
Mar 16: Weed management in greenhouses and high tunnels – Betsy Lamb
Mar 23: How to write/use an IPM plan – Betsy Lamb

A note from an MSU newsletter that is worth keeping an eye out for:
With respect to disease, there has been documentation of strains of Pythium found in Michigan greenhouses that are resistant to mefenoxam (Subdue MAXX). Growers should be documenting rates and timing of pesticide applications and be making notes on efficacy.

Sierra Biologicals – a producer of beneficial nematodes –  is moving to the Buffalo NY area.  Cool!  We’ll keep an eye out for them and their products.

Some nutrition basics videos: Part 1 and Part 2 – good for a cold damp night like tonight!

Sneaky orchids? Okay, I’m a bug and plant geek, and think this is cool from the plant’s point of view, but don’t get me one of these for Valentine’s Day, please!

Enough for today! Stay warm and have a great week!


Christmas tree IPM update 1.30.17

Not exactly IPM but if we can breed in resistance to pests, it counts!  A webinar series on Christmas tree genetics and tree improvement starts THIS WEDNESDAY – Feb 1, 1:00-2:30.

Someone asked me for the economics of producing Christmas trees.  I found these references that you might find interesting.  Of course none are from NYS.

Economics of Producing an Acre of White Pine Christmas Trees

Ag Alternatives – Christmas Tree Production

Christmas Tree Economics:
Establishing and Producing Douglas-Fir Christmas Trees in Western Oregon

Noble Fir



Greenhouse IPM Update 1.18.17

Happy New Year!  And the information is rolling in . . . education events, webinars,  you name it.  So much that you might get 2 updates in one week!

For those in Western NY – a couple of cross the border events! (Eastern NYers can go, too – just more driving)
OMAFRA Intro to IPM Workshop in Vineland Feb 17th – Sarah Jandricic is at it again and her programs are great.

Nursery Growers Short Course Feb 15, 2017 in Burlington ON

IPM in the Woody Landscape on March 28, 2017 in Milton ON – Jen Llewllyn also puts on excellent programs

On the other side of the state- the Bedding Plant/Nursery Education Day in Voorheesville on Jan 20.

Growing calibrachoas this year?  Here’s some help – https://onfloriculture.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/managing-million-bells-2017-updates/#more-5790
Maybe Margery D. will weigh in on why some growers are getting Thielaviopsis outbreaks.  Remember that Canadian versions of pesticides may have different names – and may not be labeled in NYS.

No funny business –  The Dyson School’s Ag and Food Business Outlook is Tuesday, Jan 24 in Ithaca.  Nothing specific on the green industry – why not? – but some general information that might be helpful.

And to think we used to call it dirt!  Soil health potentially affects all aspects of plant growth.  The Institute of Soil Health has a Research Landscape Tool to find information on soil health topics.    Check it out and see what you find.

More resources from Canada – they were busy over Christmas, I guess – OMAFRA’s Guide to Greenhouse Floriculture Production – good info, remember the caveats on pesticides

Call to action!  EPA is reviewing pyrethrins and pyrethroids and is looking for grower input to know the needs for those products.  The comment period is open until Jan 30, 2017.  Even if you don’t comment, it is worth knowing about the ecological assessment and risk management rationale and which products are included.

New year – new pesticides.  Griffin has a Tech Tip out with information on new pesticides.  Orkestra is labeled for NYS – but not for Long Island, Segovis is not yet labeled for NYS, and BotaniGard MAXX is labeled for both.  Other topics, too.

Remember you can check on which pesticides are labeled for NYS at the DEC NYSPAD link .  They are improving the site, too.  Now you don’t have to scroll to the end to find the search section.

Water, water everywhere – but is it clean?  Learn a lot about water quality through the webinar series from Clean Water3

That’s it for today!  And this was what I was looking at last week – in addition to Monkey Puzzle trees in their native habitat.  Know where I was?



Greenhouse IPM Update 12.20.16

Are all your greenhouses tucked up for winter?  And all those poinsettias sold?  Just think, you could be Christmas tree producers!

Do we need another disease on chrysanthemums- especially one carried by thrips?  Are growers seeing this in NYS?  MSU’s research report on tomato spotted wilt on chrysanthemum.

Oh goody, another chrysanthemum disease that looks similar to TSWV!  This stem necrosis virus on chrysanthemum has only been seen in Korea so far.  Whew!

On the plant growth regulator front . .  Information from Joyce Latimer at Virginia Tech on why PGR labels aren’t specific by crop. And e-GRO’s PGR MixMaster app to help you calculate amounts. There are lots of other reports on PGR application research at e-GRO, too.

And in preparation for next year’s poinsettias – can you really start too soon thinking about them? – an article on biocontrol for poinsettia
And information on aerial blight on poinsettias – an uncommon disease caused by our unfortunately common friend Phytophthora (so common I was forced to learn to spell it correctly)  (remember to check NYSPAD for NYS labels of any pesticides)

Oh, just one more beast to keep an eye out for – and aphids are likely to pop up earlier in the spring than we like – the foxglove aphid. Getting to be much more common in greenhouses.

Well maybe another – broad mite in pepper.  Do you have gnarly looking leaves?  Look VERY closely for this pest.

Enough for this time!

Some lovely sunny days lately!  Have a great week!