March 27, 2020

Christmas tree IPM update 3.27.20

Life – and insects – go on, thank heavens!  Who ever thought that thinking about 6 legged bugs would be a pleasure!


GDD 3/27/20                                      Predicted GDD 4/1/20 (we’ll see if they are fooling)

Champlain           2                                                              2


Geneva                 9                                                              14 (sounds good to me 😊)


Riverhead           17                                                           17


No new information today – you’ve had enough emails from me!


March 27, 2020

COVID update 3.27.20

I appreciate hearing from you – and to know you are keeping open and optimistic minds in this crazy time!  Thanks for the inspiration!


Yet more help on dealing with COVID for your businesses.  Many of these resources are aimed at the food industry – which some of you will fall under – but there are many that are useful for every business.  It’s a lot to cover but they are at least arranged under headings to help.  The second link is Frequently Asked Questions – like “Is Ag and Markets still doing inspections?” (by the way – yes, they are).


Rutgers version – which has a lot of resources in Spanish



I’m still trying to distill the provisions of the emergency assistance act – so I hope someone more knowledgeable does it so I can send it along.


Keep well and happy!


March 27, 2020

Social distancing, marketing and Small Business Administration information 3.26.20

I’m hoping all this information helps.  Maybe I should send a daily joke, too, to have something else to read 😊 (oops, now I will have to learn some jokes…..)




From Rutgers Plant and Pest Advisory:


Business social distancing:

Social distancing for customers will include but is not limited to: signage for customers to remain 6 feet apart from one another as well as a concerted effort by owners/employees to sanitize frequently used carts, doors, loading equipment, etc.

  • Commonly touched hard surfaces should be routinely disinfected while wearing disposable gloves with 70% alcohol, or other common EPA-registered household disinfectants (see previous email). Soft/porous surfaces should be cleaned with EPA-approved spray/aerosol sanitizers. Any fabric that can be laundered (uniforms, table cloths, etc.) should be done so separately from household laundry. The use of non-clothing linens should be discouraged. For example the use of tablecloths under cash registers is discouraged.

Employee social distancing:

These same efforts must be applied for social distancing amongst employees, including but not limited to: prohibit sharing of vehicles between different work crews or tightly packing single vehicles, routinely sanitizing commonly used tools and equipment, prohibiting congregations around break/lunch areas, etc.

  • Travelers per vehicle should be limited to maximize physical distance between employees/occupants. If possible 1 crew per vehicle for the duration of COVID-19 concerns should be implemented. While conducting business, employee sanitation efforts should be constantly minded. This would include cleaning hard vehicle interiors with disinfectant solutions (70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants) as well as soft interior surfaces with EPA-approved spray/aerosol sanitizers while wearing disposable gloves. Any fabric that can be laundered (seat covers, work uniform, bibs, etc.) should be done so separately from household laundry.


Businesses are encouraged to give each employee a letter indicating that the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operations.

Employees reporting to work are permitted to travel to and from their place of business. This would also apply when nursery deliveries or landscapers services are being performed.


Ideas to generate more business during COVID-19:

  • Increase social media marketing, targeting local audiences
  • Offer delivery services or order online-pick up at store
  • Generate ‘kits’ of easy to grow plants for a new wave of horticulture enthusiasts
  • Offer online demonstrations or classes, branding your business as top-notch
  • Promote different horticulture techniques that should spur purchases
  • Promote unique plants that the average person has not seen and may take interest in


In the case of economic disaster: 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been approved for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which includes businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and non-profits. Application filing deadline is 12/18/2020.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

phone: (800) 659-2955



March 27, 2020

Pesticide related guidance on COVID 19 3.26.20

Sun’s out here and I am getting better at working from home.  I hope the flurry of emails is helpful!


Today’s first email is from DEC via the NYS Turf Association:


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pesticide Information: Pesticide products used to disinfect surfaces or objects must first be registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then by DEC. EPA has activated its Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance for Antimicrobial Products in order to enable the use of certain EPA-registered disinfectant products against COVID-19. EPA identified products which can be used against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. EPA strongly recommends following the virucidal use directions with the longest contact time on the product label.


DEC has created a list of products registered in New York State that correspond to the list of products identified by the EPA. The list can be downloaded below:


DEC List of Products to Disinfect COVID-19 (Updated March 24, 2020)(PDF)


Note: This list is subject to change. DEC recommends users check back regularly for an updated list.


DEC reminds users to strictly follow the label directions for disinfecting surfaces for viruses, including adherence to contact times and appropriate personal protective equipment (if applicable) as listed on each product label.


Have a great day!

March 27, 2020

Online recertification courses from the Pesticide Management Education Program at Cornell 3.25.20

More resources….


Since COVID-19 has impacted in-person pesticide applicator recertification classes, I’d like to invite you to check out the online recertification course offerings from our program.


The Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP) Distance Learning Center ( offers 37 fee-based Core and category courses applicable to many applicator certification categories. All of our online courses are approved for recertification credits in New York State. Most courses are also approved for recertification credits in the New England states as well as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia.



Stay healthy and happy!