June 29, 2020

A few oddments for 6.26.20

Mostly resources – many that are aimed at the new gardeners we hope stay gardeners forever!


Garden mum production and protection tips from Ontario Floriculture – https://onfloriculture.com/2020/06/24/garden-mums-2020-production-and-protection-tips/#more-9239

Just remember the pesticides listed are for Ontario, not NYS so check to make sure they are labeled here.


Cornell Turfgrass webinars – including lawn and landscape series



Long Island vegetable disease galleries



Amazing numbers of COVID resources – if you still need more – from NC State (not just food safety)


I did learn why food isn’t considered an issue.  This is a respiratory virus and has to get into your respiratory system and although that can happen through the mouth and eyes as well as the nose (which is why your mask goes over your nose and not just your chin, people in the grocery store), eating isn’t a very likely way for that to happen.  Good – as I am off for socially distanced ice cream this afternoon.


Fun ‘Science in Real Life’ you-Tube videos your customers might like



Have a great week!


June 29, 2020

GDD update 6.26.20

Ah, it is Friday again – and lovely out!  I hope it continues this weekend as I have things to plant.  Please tell me how it got to be almost July?


An interesting resource I just found when looking up lammas growth (lots more than lammas growth information in there):



June 26                 July 1

Champlain                           656                         756

Geneva                                756                         866

Riverhead                           941                         1066. (Oddly large number of 6’s in these numbers.  Golly, I am a nerd – 1066 is the Battle of Hastings – Norman conquest of England)


Nothing much new.  Odd things on pines in the new Branching Out – Cone beetles, Nantucket pine tip moth (prune and destroy tips before GDD 1000), Pine tortoise scale (treat crawlers 618-1050 GDD) – does anyone have pines and see these?


First generation Cryptomeria scale – 600-800 GDD

Spruce bud scale crawlers on Norway spruce 912-1388 GDD


I haven’t ever seen this (that I know of) – has anyone else?


Balsam twig aphids can occasionally be a damaging pest on white spruce in Christmas tree plantations.  The damage they cause to white spruce is very distinctive, with pigtailing of leaders and needles that don’t properly expand, leaving the leader with a distinctively spirally twisted four-sided, corkscrewed mess.



Nice to see so many of you on all the webinars that have been going on.  If you have questions on safety plans, I’m happy to help!


Have a great week!

June 29, 2020

GDD update 6.19.20

I am covered with bedstraw seed capsules, as perhaps you are – it being that time of year.  I have both the smooth and the ‘sticky’ – so lucky.  This year seems like a bumper crop – and it definitely moves around.


I was reminded to remind you – wild parsnip is up and blooming – the yellow umbrella shaped flower heads. This is the plant that can give you very nasty burns if you get the sap on you.  Like giant hogweed but much more common.  You can get the sap on you while weed whacking and mowing, so keep an eye out for it (even when it isn’t blooming).  I think I have seen it at every summer meeting I have been to in several years.  I have it in my yard, too, just so I know what I am talking about, I guess.


The DEC has information at http://nyis.info/invasive_species/wild-parsnip/  Their iMapInvasives definitely does not show all the places it exists – map information is only as good as the people reporting it.  I’ll add that to something else I should learn to do!


GDD                       June 19                 June 24

Champlain           483                         615

Geneva                598                         724  a slightly different AgriTech weather station

Riverhead           746                         857


Cryptomeria scale – first generation crawlers 600-800 GDD.  Why do I say first generation?  Because there is more than one generation in a year, which means you need to keep checking on these. Nitrogen fertilization makes these scales and other sucking pests happy (and when they are happy they make more scales) so don’t over fertilize


There are some beneficial insects that feed on elongate hemlock scale. Check and see if you see small holes in the scales which might mean that parasitic wasps have hatched out to go lay eggs in more scales.  The presence of beneficials is one reason to not use pesticides if you don’t have to or to use them on as limited a scale as possible.


Bagworms – should have destroyed overwintered bags by now – because that’s where the eggs overwinter.  The young larvae will hatch out and start feeding at 600-900 GDD. Bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki (note that there are different kinds of Bt’s) will work when they are small.

Some things that came up at the Hudson Valley Virtual Twilight meeting on Tuesday –

Controlling porcelain berry



Buckthorn Blaster – this is one version of a method for treating cut stems with concentrated glyphosate.  You can use a paintbrush or other systems but this was recommended by one grower.



Have a great week!


June 29, 2020

6.16.20 Safety Plans and other useful information

This is a long email – things have been piling up in my inbox so you get them all today!


The MOST IMPORTANT – Safety plans are required and are meant to protect your business from liability.  Even if you have been open all along!  Yes, they are long and yes, you are busy.  Consider it cheap insurance and maybe you will find something that makes your business better even when we are out from under the COVID cloud.


Help from Cornell’s Ag Workforce Development program – examples and things to consider

For those with ag production only: https://cornell.app.box.com/s/nzzp5b43jeswivj6yk8jstk0f1gfptlq

If you have retail also – there is a direct market supplement – https://cornell.app.box.com/s/fm9607vzk1t54cvbekfr7e4f26cluwpg


Both follow the required NY FORWARD safety plan template – https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf


Don’t forget to read and affirm the guidelines at https://forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries

Scroll to Agriculture for production. If you have retail, you must read and affirm the Retail Trade guidelines. (Florists, and Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores are specifically mentioned in the list but the form says Interim Guidance for Curbside and In-store Pickup Retail Business Activities.   Yes, it is confusing – do it anyway and then you are covered.


If you missed the webinars on the safety plans, you can find them here (ornamentals coming soon) – https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/ny-forward-business-safety-plan/


I’m feeling mischievous and might go ask at the local big box store for their safety plan 😊


As things change, more things change.  The EPA updates its N List of disinfectants and has added a tool to help you choose which one to use based on information like use site, active ingredient and contact time. https://cfpub.epa.gov/giwiz/disinfectants/index.cfm

How do they decide what goes on the list?

While surface disinfectant products on List N have not been tested specifically against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, EPA expects them to kill the virus because they: Demonstrate efficacy (e.g. effectiveness) against a harder-to-kill virus; or Demonstrate efficacy against another type of human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2. All surface disinfectants on List N can be used to kill viruses on surfaces such as counters and doorknobs.

EPA guidance on what to do if you can’t get the required respiratory protection (relating to Worker Protection Standards) during COVID 19 – https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-06/documents/covid19statementrespirators.pdf

CDC Guidance on Ag Workers and Employers


Information on work site assessments, hierarchy of controls, etc. – and might be useful in creating your safety plans


Signage for Farmers’ Markets – which might work for other sites, too.



Selling Real Farm Products in a Virtual Marketplace –



Webinars from the Northeast Dairy Management series – but might have useful information


Registration at https://www.cvent.com/events/northeast-dairy-management-webinar-series/registration-55e67936e1f74e58a178ba059ade304f.aspx?refid=Website&fqp=true

July 1, 2020 – Managing Employees in Challenging Times (Because They’re Always Challenging Times)
Tom Wall, The Dairy CoachTM

With economic uncertainty higher than we’ve ever experienced, surviving these difficult times is a higher priority for most businesses than thriving through them.  But during good times or bad, the basics of business and employee management remain unchanging.  It’s time to get serious about what matters most. In this webinar, we’ll talk about how these tough times are the perfect opportunity to improve your dairy’s culture and team’s performance.

July 8, 2020 – Adapting Management to Changing Labor Regulations and COVID-19
Moderator: Rich Stup, Cornell Ag Workforce Development
Panelists: Kim Skellie, El-Vi Farms LLC; Mike McMahon, E-Z Acres LLC; and Crystal Grimaldi, Ideal Dairy Farms

State regulations regarding overtime, day-of-rest, and now, COVID-19 affect most dairy farms and the people who work in them. Dairy managers must adapt their policies and procedures to meet requirements, while also communicating and maintaining effective relationships with valuable employees. This panel discussion will explore how three dairy managers are meeting the challenge.

For your customers – the Mississippi Fruit and Nut blog has done a series on Yard Fruit – yes, it isn’t quite the same here in NYS but plant geeks like me might enjoy the different fruits covered and you might sell them some plants https://msfruitextension.wordpress.com/


Save this for when you have more time – The Jolly Green Scientist podcasts – https://jolly-green-scientists.captivate.fm/episodes.



Congratulations if you got this far!  Have a great week!

June 29, 2020

NEWA is back on-line 6.15.20 GDD update

Here are the numbers for today!


June 15                 June 20

Champlain                           415                         526

Geneva                                519                         633

Riverhead                           663                         747


June 29, 2020

Chrysanthemum white rust Pest Alert 6.12.20

Are you saying to yourself – Betsy Lamb has lost her mind, we don’t have chrysanthemums, yet?  Both may be true.  However, based on last year, if you have overwintered chrysanthemums in a garden, it is possible that you can have CWR in June.  Go out and check them now.


Pest Alert information – including an updated fungicide list is available at https://nysipm.cornell.edu/agriculture/ornamental-crops/pest-alerts/chrysanthemum-white-rust/


Thanks to Margery Daughtrey for all her help.


I’ll send another reminder when you have chrysanthemums coming in.  Remember that the fungicides are protectants, not curative.