January 30, 2017

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
https://pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-081/420-081.html

Ag Alternatives – Christmas Tree Production
http://extension.psu.edu/business/ag-alternatives/forestry/christmas-tree-production/extension_publication_file

Christmas Tree Economics:
Establishing and Producing Douglas-Fir Christmas Trees in Western Oregon
http://arec.oregonstate.edu/oaeb/files/pdf/AEB0001.pdf

Noble Fir
http://arec.oregonstate.edu/oaeb/files/pdf/AEB0002.pdf

KENTUCKY CHRISTMAS TREE PRODUCTION WORKBOOK:
ECONOMICS AND BUDGETING
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/for/for36/for36.htm

January 18, 2017

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?

 

December 20, 2016

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!

December 19, 2016

Christmas Tree IPM Update 12.19.16

Ah, the end is near – of selling trees, and the year 2016 – and for me, of the days getting shorter!  As the sun sinks below the buildings outside my window at 4:15….
I’ve heard the selling has been good and I hope that is true for all.

And to get ready for one of the presentations at the CTFANY Annual Winter meeting – or just to help you think of warmer days – an article from MSU on attracting pollinators.

It’s hard to compact frozen soil but once things start to melt, it’s easy (not that I think we should have spring quite yet).  MSU also has information on protecting tree roots from compaction – although it is aimed at a landscape audience it has good information.

A short one this time, but long enough for the season.  Perhaps I will actually get my tree set up this evening! Pretty early for me!

 

Another article from Paul Hetzler – this one on the Yule Log tradition!

Yule Logs

Paul Hetzler

Apparently, the ceremonial burning of a large chunk of wood on or near the winter solstice (Yule to the old Germanic peoples) may have begun as a Nordic custom in the 6th century, possibly earlier. Known as a Yule clog, Yule block, Christmas log and other variants, the Yule log was purported to bring good luck in the new year if it burned all day long without being fully consumed. A remnant was always saved, and used to light the following year’s log. Though the tradition is much less common today, it has not been completely extinguished.

Given the climate there, it is no surprise that the hardy folks in northern Europe thought the best way to observe a winter holiday was to light a tree trunk on fire and gather round it. That’s probably what I would have done, too. The French, on the other hand, put a whole new twist on the thing, inventing a delicious Yule log cake that they never burn, at least not intentionally. It took them a dozen or so centuries to come up with the recipe, but let’s not complain. You don’t have to go to France to taste the bûche de Noël—in Quebec you can find Yule logs that are works of art in addition to being delectable.

Popularly depicted as a birch log, to have a Yule log burn all day and still get leftovers, you might want another kind of wood. While birch is picturesque, it doesn’t compare with many other hardwoods in terms of the heat it gives off and how long it burns. All people are created with equal value, but with logs, not so much.

Heat value, whether it’s from coal, oil or wood, is measured in BTUs, or British thermal units. One BTU represents the energy required to heat a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. And even though the U.S. is the only country on the planet not on the metric system, many other nations still use our BTU scale.

Firewood is usually hardwood, though that’s kind of a misnomer. Some “hardwoods” are softer than many types of softwood. Basswood and cottonwood, for example, have a BTU per (dry) cord rating of around 12 million, lower than that of white pine (16 million) or balsam (20 million).

As those who heat with wood know, hard (sugar) maple is the gold standard for firewood, at least in northern New England, releasing a whopping 30 million BTUs per cord. You’d have to burn twice as much butternut or aspen to get the same heat value. Hickory, beech, black locust, white oak and ironwood (hop hornbeam) come in just behind hard maple. The iconic paper birch has about 20 million BTUs per cord, respectable but not a premium fuel. Especially if you are banking a year’s wort of luck on having it last all day.

Of course there are other considerations besides BTU value in choosing firewood. Even though balsam heats better than butternut, it makes more creosote and throws a lot of sparks. Wood moisture content is also critical. When you burn wet wood, much of the wood’s heat value goes into boiling off the water. Fresh-cut elm is 70 percent water by weight; you’d get very little heat from that, assuming you could even keep it lit. Outdoor furnaces, because they have a blower, are capable of burning green wood. This might be seen as a convenience, but if you burn unseasoned wood in an outdoor furnace you’re spending twice as much time, doing twice the work compared to burning dry wood—how’s your back these days, anyway?

In the Balkans and parts of southern Europe the Yule log tradition lives on. If you’re one of the few Americans who will be burning an actual Yule log in an open hearth this year, you probably have a good chunk of dry hard maple or hickory set aside, plus a remnant of last year’s log with which to help light it.

But if that’s not your tradition, you can join millions of Americans who tune into the televised Yule Log Program on Christmas, now on the Web of course. That log apparently not only burns all day, but has done so since the program’s inception way back in 1967. I’m sure the Department of Energy is working to find what species of tree it’s from, because with just a few of those trees we could solve a lot of our energy problems.

May your holiday season be healthy and happy, and may your Yule log burn only if that is your plan.

September 13, 2016

Greenhouse IPM update 9.13.16

Ah, long falls – the climatic type, not the tripping down stairs type – and Indian summer….

I’ll start out with something just for pretty – we are (all?) plant geeks after all –
You can come visit the new conservatory when you are on campus!

Those new WPS rules – need help?  DEC is running some mock WPS inspections in October to help.  Oct 5 at Dickman Farms in Auburn, 9:30-12:00. No registration fee and no need to pre-register.  2 DEC credits for 1a, 1d, 10, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25.  Oct 19 in Riverhead and Oct 26th in Lockport. Let me know if you need more information.

ProMix/Premier Tech Grower Videos – some useful topics like roles of nutrients in plant growth, calibrating pH and EC meters, and how to determine if your media is too old.

Tunnel Vision – what’s going on in tunnels these days?
Need something different in your high tunnels or greenhouses?  Try TunnelBerries (not sure if that is a great marketing name…).  Production guides, economics, and how to build and even recycle the plastic from tunnels.  (Check out the blog and you can find Cornell’s Marvin Pritts pictured)

And the University of Kentucky has a new IPM Scouting Guide for High Tunnel and Greenhouse Vegetable Crops.

September is flying by – still have plants to get in the garden!

Have a great week!

August 31, 2016

Greenhouse IPM Update 8.31.16

Life on the lake…..ahhh.  Even though I am (really, I am) working.

A virus to watch out for – tomato spotted wilt in chrysanthemums.  The MSU article won’t connect but here it is via Floradaily.  And so you have lots of pictures – here and here.

Yet another pest to keep an eye out for.  Pepper weevil We don’t have too many greenhouse pepper growers in NYS that I know of but it is a pest in the greenhouse pepper industry in Leamington ON – not that far away.

And while we are at it – insects AND chrysanthemums – Chrysanthemum aphid.

Lettuce be clear – growing greenhouse greens year ‘round requires lots of environmental monitoring.  A nice article with information from Neil Mattson.

Do the dew! Learn how to calculate a dew point and how it might affect disease incidence in your greenhouse. An article and a webinar Sept 8.  (I hadn’t hear of Upstart University which is online and for profit but might have some good information.)

How often do you hear this question: Are you keeping your bumblebees cool enoughLearn how to answer it.

Keeping things warm – solar/thermal greenhouse heating.  When I met Rob Hastings he said his first year farming there was a frost in almost every month.  So he understands the need for alternative methods.

There’s more but I save it so you can enjoy the day…