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A single male SWD was caught in a trap set on the edge of a blueberry planting in the eastern part of Schuyler County. Traps were checked on May 21, after the cold spell broke and warmer weather prevailed at week's end in the Finger Lakes region. The plants are at early pink bud and progressing to bloom, possibly quickly given the switch to hot weather.

It will be interesting to see if SWD is caught at this site next week. Four traps are set in these blueberries, with two on the row next to a woods in which a small stream gently rolls along the west edge of the planting. Perhaps perfect wintering grounds for our enemy, SWD?

Its too early to spray since there's no fruit. The Quick Guides to SWD Insecticides are not up-to-date yet, but soon will be. In the meantime, consider all the things we can do to thwart this insect that will enhance the efficacy of the insecticide management program:

  • Mowing
  • Weed management
  • Pruning
  • Sanitation
  • Cold storage

Details for SWD IPM in blueberry can be found on this blog, Managing SWD in Blueberries at https://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/2019/08/02/managing-swd-in-blueberries/. Comprehensive information on SWD IPM is available in Spotted Wing Drosophila IPM in Blueberries from the NE IPM Center SWD Working Group, neipmc.org/go/swdpub2

Picture of three SWD males.
Three male spotted wing Drosophila. Note the spot on each wing, which is on the end of the first vein from the outer edge of the wing.

Like do-it-yourself projects?

Blueberry growers in New Jersey have had success monitoring SWD using sticky cards, baited with a Scentry lure hanging from the bottom edge of the sticky card. Check cards daily for the distinctive males with the spot on each wing. (Don't even bother looking for the females, that's for those of us who enjoy going blind peering through a microscope.)

The 2020 SWD monitoring season is getting underway. We can only hope that the lousy spring weather, frost and freeze events, and delayed plant development have taken their toll on SWD, as well. (Are anyone's fingers crossed like mine?) So far, zero SWD has been caught in traps already set out.

We're using a new system, agpestmonitor, to report trap catch and the NY distribution map won't be on EDDMapS anymore; so change your links. We've got the map on the Cornell Fruit Resources SWD Distribution page, fruit.cornell.edu/spottedwing/distribution/ and on the NYS IPM SWD page, nysipm.cornell.edu/agricultural-ipm/fruits/pest-alerts-fruits/spotted-wing-drosophila/.

This picture of the NY County map checks off those counties where SWD monitoring is taking place in 2020.
The counties checked will have traps set for SWD in 2020. Counties colored gray have zero catch as of May 21, 2020.

Please join me in a round of appreciation for our team of Cornell scientists:

  • Andy Galimberti, Eastern NY Commercial Hort Program
  • Ariel Kirk, Steuben County CCE
  • Barb Neal, Tioga County CCE
  • Dave Thorp, Livingston County CCE
  • Don Gasiewicz, Wyoming County CCE
  • Elisabeth Hodgdon, Eastern NY Commercial Hort Program
  • Faruque Zaman, Suffolk County CCE
  • Grace Marshall, NYS IPM Program
  • Janet van Zoeren, Lake Ontario Fruit Program
  • Jim O'Connell, Ulster County CCE
  • Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program
  • Laura McDermott, Eastern NY Commercial Hort Program
  • Liz Tee, Lake Ontario Fruit Program
  • Lydia Brown, Hudson Valley Research Laboratory
  • Natasha Field, Eastern NY Commercial Hort Program
  • Peter Jentsch, Hudson Valley Research Laboratory
  • Sarah Tobin, Eastern NY Commercial Hort Program
  • Sharon Bachman, Erie County CCE

Among us all, we'll have 121 traps set in 23 New York State counties: Albany, Cayuga, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Herkimer, Livingston, Niagara, Onondaga, Orange, Orleans, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schuyler, Steuben, Suffolk, Tioga, Ulster, Washington, Wayne, and Wyoming. Traps are set mostly in blueberry and raspberry, one vineyard site in Suffolk County, and a few sweet cherry orchards in Eastern NY.

Janet van Zoeren and Liz Tee have joined forces with Grace Marshall and me on our tart cherry SWD research along Lake Ontario. These trap catch numbers don't go into the distribution map. But so far, zero SWD caught in tart cherry in the Lake Ontario region, too. Last year we were already catching SWD in tart cherry orchards by this date, so it's looking to be a slow start to SWD arrival.

We're using the Scentry traps and lures again this year. If you want to make your own traps, consult our write up on the fermenting whole wheat dough trap or plan on testing fruit with salt flotation as harvest times arrive. And speaking of harvests— I hope you all come through the spring frost and freeze events with a good crop and have a successful harvest this year!

Stay healthy, wash your hands, and meet online!

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, Jim O'Connell, Ulster County CCE, will be hosting a webinar on that new spotted invasive, spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). This insect threatens vineyards, woodlands and orchards...and backyards! It has caused significant damage to wine grapes in Pennsylvania, where it was first introduced from Asia.

Picture of the fourth-instar nymph of spotted lanternfly.
Fourth instar of spotted lanternfly, before the adult stage.

Fascinating insects, Fulgorids. Yet, none existed in North America...until now! Learn more about these up-and-coming pests, how to identify them and how to report any sightings of them. Help us keep the populations of spotted lanternfly (SLF) under control and, preferably, out of New York State. (I used to love polka dots, now I'm not so sure.)

Attend the Online Spotted Lanternfly Workshop on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, from 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM.

Register here Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

This SLF meeting will update farmers and the general public about this new invasive species that has the potential to cause severe economic injury to many important crops in Ulster County and New York State.

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is originally from China and parts of Southeast Asia. It was first detected in Pennsylvania in September of 2014 and a state quarantine of 13 counties was enacted. Since then, it has spread to adjacent counties, as well as parts of New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Picture of an adult spotted lanternfly on a tree trunk
Spotted lanternfly adult on the trunk or a tree.

At this workshop, learn about:

  • the biology of SLF,
  • it’s preferred hosts,
  • economic injury sustained in Pennsylvania,
  • how to report sightings,
  • and regulatory restrictions in place to limit the spread of SLF.

These insects are over an inch long!

There is no cost to attend this meeting, however, pre-registration is required.

Register here and receive your confirmation email with the link to join the workshop.

2.25 NY DEC Pesticide Credits have been approved for this meeting in categories 1A, 2, 3A, 9, 10, 22, 25. Those seeking credits must attend all sessions and actively participate. Learn more about SLF, attend the Online Spotted Lanternfly Workshop! May 13, 9:30 - noon.

Content for this post was contributed by James O’Connell, Senior Ag. Resource Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ulster County, jmo98@cornell.edu.

Are they in New York State? Yes!  Where are they?  We're going to find out! A statewide weed herbicide resistance screening project will start this year. Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, specialty crop weed science, Dr. Bryan Brown, IPM weed management specialist, and Dr. Toni DiTommaso, soil and crop sciences, will find out. Help them to help you!

Weeds compete with crops for light, water, and nutrients, which can result in yield reductions. Weeds can also interfere with crop production by serving as alternate hosts for pests and pathogens, providing habitat for rodents, and impeding harvest operations. Consequently, growers employ a variety of control strategies, including the application of herbicides, to manage unwanted vegetation. Although herbicides can be extremely effective at controlling undesirable plants, failures can and do occur. Weeds may escape chemical treatments for many reasons including the evolution of herbicide resistance.

Worldwide, there are 512 confirmed cases (species x site of action) of herbicide resistance. With respect to the United States, 165 unique instances of resistance have been documented.

A chart showing the status of herbicide resistance cases globally from 1950 to 2020.
Current status of herbicide resistance, globally, over time according to the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds (www.weedscience.org)

In New York, only four herbicide resistance occurrences have been formally reported:

  • common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)
  • smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus)
  • common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
  • common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
  • All described as insensitive to photosystem II inhibitors (e.g. atrazine and simazine).

This, however, does not reflect the current on-the-ground situation in the state. Work done by Drs. Julie Kikkert (CCE) and Robin Bellinder (Cornell) indicates resistance to linuron in some populations of Powell amaranth (Amaranthus powelli). Recent studies by Drs. Bryan Brown (NYS IPM) and Antonio DiTommaso (Cornell) suggest that horseweed (Conyza canadensis) and waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) populations may be resistant to one or more herbicide active ingredients.

Pennsylvania has nine reported cases of herbicide resistance including glyphosate resistance in Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), which was recently identified here in NY. While it is tempting to believe that herbicide resistance is a hallmark of agronomic cropping systems, herbicide resistance can and has developed in orchards, vineyards, vegetable crops, pastures, and along roadsides.

Photo of two horseweed seedlings.
Horseweed (Conyza canadensis) seedlings.  Photo: L. Sosnoskie

Beginning in 2020, we will undertake a screening effort to describe the distribution of herbicide resistance in the state.

You can be a part of this important work. This coming summer and fall, growers, crop consultants and allied industry personnel who suspect they have herbicide resistance are encouraged to contact Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie (lms438@cornell.edu, 315-787-2231) to arrange for weed seed collection.

Indicators of suspect herbicide resistance:

  • Dead weeds intermixed with live plants of the same species.
  • A weed patch that occurs in the same place and continues to expand, yearly.
  • A field where many weed species are controlled but a previously susceptible species is not.
  • Reduced weed control that cannot be explained by skips, nozzle clogs, weather events, herbicide rate or adjuvant selection, and calibration or application issues.

Growers can take several actions to stop the spread of herbicide resistant weeds and to prevent the development of new ones.

  1. First and foremost is scouting fields following herbicide applications and keeping careful records of herbicide performance to quickly identify weed control failure.
  2. Pesticide applicators should ensure that their equipment is properly calibrated and that they are applying effective herbicides at appropriate rates to manage the target species.
  3. Whenever possible, diversify herbicides to reduce chemical selection pressures that result from the repeated use of a single herbicide or site of action.
  4. If possible, incorporate physical and cultural weed control practices into a vegetation management plan.
  5. Be sure to control unwanted plants when they are small and never allow escapes to set seed.
  6. Clean equipment to prevent seeds of herbicide-resistant weed species from moving between infested and non-infested sites and harvest areas with suspected resistant populations last.

Juliet Carroll, your friendly SWD blogger, says, "It's that time of year, you've put on your pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides in the rows or between the rows, and you're keeping an eye on things to make sure those weeds are dying or not emerging. Continue your vigilance, flag suspects, and contact the "Super Weed Team" to collect suspect seeds to help them help you fight herbicide resistance."

This article was contributed by Lynn Sosnoskie, lms438@cornell.edu, Horticulture, Cornell AgriTech.

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Esther Kibbe, Western NY Berry Specialist, has started a newsletter on the Cornell Fruit Resources Berry Blog, blogs.cornell.edu/berries/berry-blog/. You can easily subscribe to this blog and get updates on field observations from Western NY. Or contact Esther via email at ejp9@cornell.edu.

Her April 6 Scouting Update - Western NY has great photos and a summary of her findings. Take a look: blogs.cornell.edu/berries/2020/04/06/scouting-update-western-ny/

A screen shot showing the subscribe area of the Berry Blog page.
At the bottom of the right hand sidebar on a desk top or at the bottom of the blog page on a smart phone, you'll find the place to subscribe.

Esther will be visiting fields and sharing her findings with you. She'll also be in touch with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators who work in berries and berry growers. This way, even in these uncertain times, she can share everyone's findings via this blog.

Laura McDermott, Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program, is thrilled to see the evolution of statewide coverage of berry field reports during this difficult time when we are facing a limited ability of Cornell Cooperative Extension staff to conduct farm visits in response to grower's needs.

So, subscribe to the Berry Blog today!

And don't worry. I'll still be posting SWD updates and other cool stuff, as usual, here on the SWD blog! Have a fantastic growing season.

As in "exclusion netting"...? Here are answers to growers' most frequently asked questions.

In organic and low spray vegetable production, insect exclusion netting, for many years, has successfully reduced or eliminated insect pest damage.  The arrival of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) and the devastation it caused prompted immediate field research on this barrier method for berry crops.  Since 2013, NY farmers, Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension, have gathered field data on the effect of netting on SWD populations and the crop itself.  You can read two Fruit Quarterly articles about this work:

Evaluation of Insect Exclusion and Mass Trapping as Cultural Controls of Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Blueberry Production 1
Using Insect Netting on Existing Bird Netting Support Systems to Exclude Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) from a Small Scale Commercial Highbush Blueberry Planting 2

Photo of a high tunnel with exclusion netting to protect the raspberry crop inside from SWD.
Exclusion netting over high tunnel raspberries will protect them from SWD.

Growers should keep in mind that no outcome in farming – from pest control tactics to markets – is guaranteed.  Below we give straightforward answers, gleaned from seven years of experimenting with SWD exclusion netting, to your frequently asked questions.

What is exclusion netting?
Insect exclusion netting is woven from polyethylene yarn in a variety of weaves.  Looser weaves are lighter and allow more air through, but the space between fibers allow smaller insects to pass through. In field trials 60 gram netting (mesh size 1.95 x 0.95 mm) did not exclude SWD.  80 gram netting (mesh size 1.0 x 0.6 mm) has repeatedly excluded SWD over several production seasons.  There is an 85 gram netting available for situations that require additional durability – that weave will exclude SWD as well.  Some manufacturers are selling 70 gram netting for SWD exclusion, however, none of the Cornell studies tested 70 gram netting in the field. The nets come in different widths and lengths depending on the manufacturer.  Some manufacturers will sew panels together, some offer zippered panels etc.

Does it work?
The simple answer is YES!  100% exclusion of SWD can be achieved IF:

  • nets are put up early, before SWD appears
  • nets have no holes or gaps
  • nets are managed and maintained effectively throughout the season
  • and a well-designed entry way is used.

There is always a chance that SWD will get inside and it can be a problem requiring some sort of treatment. But, overall, our experience suggests this is uncommon when growers are diligent with their installation of exclusion netting. This means that pesticide sprays to control SWD and keep fruit clean will be dramatically reduced, and very possibly eliminated, by diligent use of exclusion netting.

Effectively managed exclusion netting will also provide 100% control of bird predation.  Growers using the netting have also observed protection from hail, heavy rain and damaging winds. It cannot be overemphasized that, the management of the netting is important to achieving excellent crop protection results.

Photo of a bumblebee feeding on a raspberry flower.
A wild pollinator feeding on a fall raspberry flower. Keep in mind your crops pollination needs under the exclusion netting.

Is exclusion netting difficult to manage?
Difficult to answer. Depends on the individual farmer. Crop exclusion falls under the general category of protected culture – that is using physical structures and plastic or nets to protect crops from pests and weather instead of complete reliance on pesticides. There is no question that growing crops in any protected culture system from high and low tunnels to exclusion netting requires more attention to detail, a willingness to try something completely different, and commitment to successful adoption.

Netting is quite easy to put in place once the initial system has been designed. There are several ways to winterize the material. Remove it after fruiting to increase its longevity by protecting it from UV degradation.

For perennial crops, few “ready to use kits” exist, because the concept is so new – although that’s changing quickly! Cornell and the University of Vermont have created plans for exclusion net support systems and have spearheaded efforts to include exclusion netting systems in cost-share plan policies, similar to those for high tunnels.

Growers must consider their unique production requirements. You-pick farms need to consider customer access in and out of the exclusion netted field. Farmers may want to leave enough space to get mowers and other larger equipment under the net.  If the farm is located in a very windy area support systems should reflect that reality.

How much does the exclusion system cost?
The netting support system will vary from one farm to the next until manufactured kits or standardized plans are created. The current estimate for purchasing netting and the support system, with labor for construction included, would be approximately $10,000 per acre. Given that netting will provide bird control, and the estimate for bird related loss is almost 1/3 of the crop, exclusion netting could be a great investment. The netting itself will last 7-10 years; the support system probably much longer.

Will exclusion netting impact my crop in unexpected ways?
The short answer – no, not that we can determine. After six seasons of netting a commercial blueberry planting in eastern NY, no negative impacts on the plants or the crop have been found associated with the netting. Indeed, anecdotally, netting may enhance blueberry productivity, although more research is needed. Results with raspberries in a high tunnel with netting applied to the tunnel sides and ends show promise – with the caveat for growers to increase the height of sidewalls, use fans and possibly shade cloth to prevent excess heat.

Photograph of high tunnel raspberries.
High tunnel raspberries.

Is netting only useful for small acreages?
No.  Exclusion netting can be used on all scales of plantings. The requirement being a commitment to using this technology combined with a market that will recoup the investment. Across the globe, protected systems like this are being used for very large acreages. Given the sizable investment for a large scale air-assisted sprayer, if exclusion netting allows a farmer to not have to make that investment – it might even be a savings.

Where can I get exclusion netting?
Berry Protection Solutions is the U.S. distributor for the product that Cornell has worked with. There are other products available from other farm supply distributors. More information on protected culture with links to suppliers, research papers and extension support can be found at the Tunnelberries website.

1 McDermott, L., L. Nickerson, New York Fruit Quarterly, Vol 22, Number 1. Spring 2014.
2 Riggs, D., G. Loeb, S. Hesler, L. McDermott, New York Fruit Quarterly, Vol 24, Number 2. Summer 2016.

This post was contributed by Laura McDermott, ENYCHP CCE, Greg Loeb, Entomology Cornell AgriTech, and Juliet Carroll, NYSIPM CCE.

I trust everyone is staying healthy, washing their hands and meeting mainly online, rather than in person. Regardless, our fruit crops will grow and require care and protection from insects, mites, plant diseases, wildlife, and weeds! I will continue to provide SWD information via this blog. Current plans are to run the SWD monitoring network this year. Keep in mind its been a mild winter and SWD may arrive early again...or earlier, but we'll be prepared.

Ripe blueberries ready for harvesting.
Photo: R. Isaacs, Michigan State University

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) are here to help you deal with the threat of Coronavirus, COVID-19. Below are resource pages that are being updated routinely:

COVID-19 response:
Need information? View the following Cornell CALS and CCE Resource Pages Updated Regularly

In addition, COVID-19 has impacted in-person pesticide applicator recertification classes. Check out the online recertification course offerings from Cornell's Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP).

The PMEP Distance Learning Center (pmepcourses.cce.cornell.edu) offers 37 fee-based Core and category courses applicable to many applicator certification categories. All are approved for recertification credits in New York State. Most are also approved in New England, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia.

Wishing you all the very best 2020 growing season!

In the past eight years, we’ve progressed in our ability to manage spotted wing drosophila (SWD), but it remains a serious economic problem for fruit growers in NY and across the US.  Do you think that statement is correct? If yes, we could use your help in telling the USDA just that—that SWD remains a serious threat to your crops and your bottom line—in our grant application. Help us by filling out our survey at the link below. And read more about our project.

SWD Grower Needs Assessment Survey https://ugeorgia.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9NRfMKZ3hRFt3JH

Researchers who study SWD and its management are in the process of developing a multistate grant application to the USDA…and New York State is on board! This grant will support research and extension efforts on sustainable management practices against SWD. Sustainable means environmentally safe and economically viable.

A photo of the SWD parasitoid Ganapis brasiliensis laying an egg into an SWD larva inside a blueberry.
The SWD parasitoid Ganapsis brasiliensis laying an egg into an SWD larva inside a blueberry. This parasitoid was collected in Asia. Photo: K. Daane

This grant will bring needed funding to NY for our efforts to increase grower awareness and adoption of novel approaches to sustainable SWD management. We will improve the business management resources created specifically to account for the impact of SWD on farms and educate growers on using our Excel-based economic decision-making software. We will release biological control agents—parasitoids of SWD—from their native lands and assess survival and effectiveness as an alternate management tactic. We will manipulate the behavior of SWD with field attractants and repellents and measure how these materials may inhibit fruit infestation.

In NY, Cornell University scientists Dr. Miguel Gomez, agricultural economist, and Dr. Greg Loeb, entomologist, will lead the project and work closely with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and the NYS Berry Growers Association. We need input from berry growers like you.

Please help us in demonstrating to USDA that SWD remains a serious problem by completing our brief, anonymous online survey on how SWD is affecting your business. We need your answers by February 29.

SWD Grower Needs Assessment Survey https://ugeorgia.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9NRfMKZ3hRFt3JH

Combined survey results from across the US will be included in the grant proposal. Just a few minutes of your time, which is priceless, could translate into millions of dollars for research on SWD.

Thank you!

Content for this post was contributed by Dr. Miguel Gomez, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University.

An in-depth strawberry substrate workshop will be held February 11–13, 2020  at the Moakley House, Ithaca, NY 

Strawberries in containerized culture.
Strawberries in containerized culture.

Growing strawberries in substrate (soil-less media) can help prevent soil-borne diseases. It can also increase yields, improve quality, and reduce the costs associated with pesticides, fertilizer, and water. In this 3-day workshop, led by Dennis Wilson of Delphy, a worldwide leader in food and flower production based in the Netherlands, we’ll combine classroom and hands-on sessions in Cornell’s greenhouses to learn about the most effective methods for strawberry substrate production.

Breakfast, lunch, and printed handouts included.

The workshop is limited to 35 participants, all of whom will walk away with the skills and knowledge they need to grow strawberries on substrate.

Register here: https://www.nysbga.org/products/strawberry-substrate-intensive

$195 NYSBGA members | $245 nonmembers

This post provided by Esther Kibbe, WNY Berry Specialist, ejp9@cornell.edu

The Sustainable SWD Management Project's November 5 webinar covered the seasonal biology and movement of SWD, "SWD in Space and Time: What do we know about the seasonal biology and movement of SWD?" The recording from the webinar is now available on the project's website. Access the recording here:

https://swdmanagement.org/2019/11/webinar-swd-in-space-time/

Picture showing SWD on a raspberry.
Meet and greet - male (right) and female (left) SWD - on a raspberry fruit.

You'll gain information on:

  • how SWD populations develop over time,
  • how they move during the day,
  • how they move throughout the year,
  • how they survive during the winter.

You'll learn how to apply this new knowledge to improve your SWD management practices.

The Sustainable SWD Management Project (swdmanagement.org) looks forward to sharing this information with you!

Any questions? Please contact Hannah Burrack, North Carolina State University, (hjburrac@ncsu.edu) with questions. You've enjoyed Hannah's SWD photos on this blog!

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