Skip to content

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:

$195 NYSBGA members | $245 nonmembers

This post provided by Esther Kibbe, WNY Berry Specialist,

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:

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 ( looks forward to sharing this information with you!

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

Spotted Lanternfly — On the Doorstep Or Already In Our Fields? Learn more at the 2019 IPM Conference hosted by the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program on August 15, 2019 at the Broome County CCE Farmers Market, 840 Upper Front St., Binghamton, NY. Yes! That's this Thursday, 8:30 to 4:30. Lunch provided. Earn recertification credits.

Register at:

It’s not if but when and where this invasive pest will show up in New York State (NYS). Be on the front line of stopping the invasion!

Learn where to look for it; how to correctly identify it; how to best report sightings of it.

Watercolor of spotted lanternfly adults by Karen EnglishSpotted Lanternfly is a concern to: Growers; Foresters; Nursery, Greenhouse and Christmas Tree Operations; Landscapers; Master Gardeners — all NYS residents. In fact, anyone whose business or travel takes them through quarantine zones should understand New York State’s regulations.

Experts from across PA and NY will provide updates on what is being done to prevent Spotted Lanternfly's (SLF’s) establishment in New York. Learn about the tools available to combat this threat to our fields, forests, and homes. Here's a sampling of what you'll hear about:

  • News from the Front Line.  Current research on SLF biology, movement and management.  Keynote Speaker – Julie Urban, Penn State University
  • The NYS External Quarantine and You.  Who needs to comply and how does it work? - Thomas Allgaier, NYS Dept of Agriculture & Markets
  • I Can’t Go Outside! Impact of SLF on green industry and residential areas. -Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension
  • Working with Your Local PRISM to Prevent the SLF Invasion. - Patty Wakefield Brown, Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM)
  • The Million Dollar Impact: Management strategies for the grape industry and other perennial fruit crops. - Tim Weigle, NYS IPM Program
Picture of an adult spotted lanternfly on a tree trunk
Spotted lanternfly adult on the trunk of a tree.

Register at:

Find out more about this insect that threatens to invade New York State on the NYS IPM Program SLF IPM Conference Website,

Lunch is included with your registration. Pick up materials, cards, brochures, fact sheets — on SLF and more — during breaks. Visit with professionals working on the frontline, ask questions, get answers. Register at:

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

Recertification credits. The Spotted Lanternfly IPM Conference has been approved for 7.5 Certified Nursery Landscape Professional credits, and 6 NYS Pesticide Recertification credits in the categories of 1a, 2, 3a, 6a, 9, 10, 22 and 25.

This Statewide Public Conference is sponsored by The NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets, NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Finger Lakes Institute, the Finger Lakes PRISM, Cornell University and the NYS IPM Program.

WHAT: IPM Conference, Spotted Lanternfly — On the Doorstep Or Already In Our Fields?

WHEN: Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM 

WHERE: Broome County CCE Farmers Market, 840 Upper Front St., Binghamton, NY

If you thought SWD was bad... This invasive is even worse! Feeding en mass, SLF suck the very life juices from plants and shower everything below with their excreted honeydew, favoring a lawn of sooty molds. Ugh. September is the month for dispersing adults — let's get ready!

Register now at:

The ability for the SWD population to explode as summer rolls on was demonstrated last week in several counties where I have research projects. Per trap, 5 to 125 SWD were caught in raspberry, blueberry, and tart cherry in mid-July. The totals for the two to four traps set in the orchards and fields were 14 to 250.

Use this summary as a wake up call! For the weeks ending on the date given:
7/11/2019, Schuyler County, blueberry, 4 traps, 22 SWD (11 males and 11 females)
7/11/2019, Schuyler County, raspberry, 4 traps, 108 SWD (64 males and 44 females)
7/22/2019, Herkimer County, blueberry, 4 traps, 30 SWD (12 males and 18 females)
7/22/2019, Wayne County, tart cherry, 2 traps, 14 SWD (1 male and 13 females)
7/22/2019, Wayne County, tart cherry, 2 traps, 24 SWD (4 males and 20 females)
7/22/2019, Wayne County, tart cherry, 2 traps, 57 SWD (9 males and 48 females)
7/22/2019, Wayne County, tart cherry, 2 traps, 85 SWD (19 males and 66 females)
7/22/2019, Wayne County, tart cherry, 2 traps, 250 SWD (60 males and 190 females)
7/23/2019, Wayne County, blueberry, 2 traps, 131 SWD (53 male and 78 females)
7/23/2019, Wayne County, blueberry, 4 traps, 29 SWD (14 male and 15 females)

In eight of the nine sites a spray program was in place to protect fruit. Fruit is ripe and being harvested – and it’s delicious! Fruit isn’t showing signs of infestation, which means insecticide programs can protect fruit from oviposition, even when SWD numbers are high. Download the Quick Reference Guide to SWD Insecticides at

Photo of the three instars of SWD.
The three instars of SWD will emerge from fruit immersed in a salt solution. The smallest instar is about 0.5 mm long, the largest about 2 mm long.

Salt flotation – What  these numbers also demonstrate is that trap catch numbers aren’t necessarily an indication of whether or not an insecticide program is working. A better indication is to sample fruit and run a salt flotation test. Two berry growers described their success last year using salt flotation to monitor infestations in blueberries, detailed on the blog, Use salt flotation to check for SWD.  A simple method is described in Guidelines for Checking Fruit for SWD Larvae in the Field by Laura McDermott, which can be downloaded from Cornell Fruit Resources SWD Monitoring pages, Large scale berry growers will routinely run salt flotation at each harvest, because blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries ripen and are harvested over several weeks. For crops that are harvested all at once, like tart cherry, salt flotation may not be as useful.

Refrigeration – The high populations of SWD, coupled with later ripening of many crops this year, make it even more important to immediately cool fruit after harvest. Cold storage temperatures close to 32°F can greatly inhibit and even kill SWD in fruit. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and tart cherries will all tolerate cold storage temperatures between 32°F to 34°F.

Diversified fruit farms – Protect your crops from SWD, if you’re growing susceptible fruit – June strawberries, day-neutral strawberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, and thin-skinned grapes. If you have a diversified fruit farm, SWD can spill over from one crop to the next as they are harvested and especially when cull fruit remains in the field. Renovate strawberry fields promptly.

Photograph of high tunnel raspberries.
High tunnel raspberries.

Fruit becomes susceptible to SWD oviposition when it is ripening and is highly susceptible when it is ripe – raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, sweet cherry, tart cherry, elderberry. Fruit that is less susceptible will be attacked when it is at peak ripeness – peach, nectarine, plum, prune, strawberry, grapes. All fruit can serve as a resource for feeding and breeding when it is left for cull in the field. The good news is that, in degraded fruit, SWD doesn't compete all that well with other Drosophilas, like Drosophila melanogaster, our common vinegar fly, which often shows up in our kitchens in late summer or in the winery during press. SWD prefers nice ripe fruit — like we do!

Trent Davis, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the New York State Berry Growers Association (NYSBGA) want your feedback (Cornell-NYSBGA-Labor-Survey ) on labor and wage rates in berry production. The information you provide will be used to better understand what an increase in the New York State minimum wage rate from the current $11.10/hr to $15.00/hr will have on berry production in New York.

Results will be used to let the New York State government comprehend the direct impacts farmers will face with a minimum wage increase of this magnitude. Our survey is meant specifically for farmers who produce blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries.

Access the Cornell-NYSBGA-Labor-Survey here:

Picture showing a field crew harvesting strawberries.
Field crew harvesting strawberries.

We need to know — for 2018 — about how long certain berry production practices take, the compensation those working on these practices receive, the types of employment utilized on your farm, and potential future changes you plan for your farm.

You don't need to be a member of NYSBGA to take the survey! The more respondents the better!

The survey will take roughly 7-10 minutes. We suggest before starting the survey that you gather, or think about, the hourly wage rates you paid berry production workers in 2018.

Please complete the survey by Friday, July 12thClick this link to access the survey. Thank you so much for your participation!

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to email me!

Trent J. Davis, 

M.S. Graduate Research Assistant
Applied Economics and Management - Development Economics
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

IPM guides for SWD in brambles and blueberries are now available — just in time for the 2019 growing season! The early arrival of SWD in New York will surely motivate you to review the information in these IPM guides. Download them from the Northeastern IPM Center website, provided below, or via the SWD IPM Working Group website, Feature them in your newsletters, share them with extension educators, consultants and growers.

Spotted Wing Drosophila IPM in Raspberries & Blackberries

Spotted Wing Drosophila IPM in Blueberries

Photo of a female SWD on a raspberry.
Female SWD on a raspberry.

Authors of the raspberry & blackberry IPM guide -
Greg Loeb, Entomology, Cornell Univ
Juliet Carroll, IPM, Cornell Univ
Nicole Mattoon, IPM, Cornell Univ
Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Entomology, Rutgers
Dean Polk, Agric & Resource Mngmt, Rutgers
Laura McDermott, ENYCHP, Cornell Univ
Anne Nielsen, Entomology, Rutgers

Photo o a male SWD on a blueberry.
A male spotted wing drosophila (SWD) on blueberry; another likely SWD is in the background.

Authors of the blueberry IPM guide -
Cesar Rodriguez-Saona, Entomology, Rutgers
Juliet Carroll, IPM, Cornell Univ
Nicole Mattoon, IPM, Cornell Univ
Dean Polk, Agric & Resource Mngmt, Rutgers
Greg Loeb, Entomology, Cornell Univ
Laura McDermott, ENYCHP, Cornell Univ
Anne Nielsen, Entomology, Rutgers

Input to the SWD IPM guides was also provided by the Northeast IPM SWD Working Group.

The 2019 SWD monitoring network is gearing up. Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) will be keeping tabs on the arrival of SWD on fruit farms in New York State, primarily in blueberry and raspberry. Traps will be set in 24 counties at 37 locations with a total of 128 traps.

Scentry trap for SWD set in a raspberry patch.

Laura McDermott has coordinated an extensive network across 14 counties with the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program (ENYCHP). She, along with Natasha Field, will be monitoring in Albany, Columbia, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington counties. Collaborating on the ENYCHP are Elisabeth Hodgdon and Andy Galimberti in Clinton and Essex counties; Nat Mengaziol Orange county; Mike Principe in Putnam county; and Peter Jentsch, Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, in Dutchess and Ulster counties. Jim O'Connell, Ulster County CCE, will be monitoring in Ulster County.

In other parts of the state, Shona Ort will be monitoring in Chemung County; Dave Thorp in Livingston County; Don Gasiewicz in Wyoming County; Sharon Bachman in Erie County; and Faruque Zaman in Suffolk County, Long Island. On the Lake Ontario Fruit Program, Elizabeth Tee will monitor farms in Niagara and Orleans counties. Along with Ryan Parker, I (Juliet Carroll) will monitor SWD traps in Cayuga, Onondaga, Schuyler, and Wayne Counties.

Funding to support this effort comes from CCE County Associations and Regional Programs, the NYS IPM Program, and the NYS Berry Growers Association.

Growers monitoring their fruit plantings, researchers, and others can alert me of their findings,, and I'll report those on this blog.

I will also be monitoring SWD in seven tart cherry orchards in the Lake Ontario region.

SWD findings will be reported on this blog and posted to the SWD NY distribution map. Given the mild winter (except for two cold snaps...wasn't one a polar vortex?), it might be an early year for SWD arrival and build up.

Stay tuned!

A tiny blueberry stem gall wasp on a blueberry twig (magnified). Actual size about 2 mm long.

The blueberry stem gall wasp is a native insect of the Northeastern United States. While traditionally it was rarely seen in commercial blueberry production, recently increased numbers of galls have been observed in Michigan on older varieties especially 'Jersey', 'Pemberton' and 'Northland'. The increases in blueberry stem gall are likely due to a combination of changes in management.

Researchers at Michigan State University are studying control strategies, along with breeding new varieties for resistance to gall formation. To achieve this, they are looking for gall samples from across the Northeastern US.

A blueberry stem gall on 1-year-old wood as seen in late summer or early fall. After winter, by early spring, galls will have turned brown.

If you find the galls on blueberry bushes in your field, or on non-cultivated blueberry bushes around your farm, please collect them. Prune them off. Collect fresh galls on last year's wood. These are typically on small diameter twigs and are about the size of a penny.

Don't collect galls that have exit holes in them. These are usually gray, on older, dead twigs and have black exit holes about 1 mm in diameter. The tiny adult gall wasps cut their way out of the galls, around bloom time, leaving the exit holes.

Now's the best time to prune your blueberry bushes. So, while you're out there, trim off any stem galls to send to MSU. Contact Dr. Phil Fanning at or by phone at (517) 432-9445. Ship the galls to him at the following address:

Philip Fanning
Michigan State University
Center for Integrated Plant Systems
578 Wilson Rd., Rm. 201
East Lansing, MI, 48824

You'll be helping minimize damage from this insect in your blueberries AND helping scientists develop better blueberry varieties.

During the Blueberry Intensive workshop in Dutchess County, we collected galls from 'Duke' and I sent them to Dr. Fanning. Thanks in advance for your help with this project!  And, no, they don't sting.

New York State Berry Growers Association logoRegistration is now open for two Blueberry Intensive Workshops hosted by the New York State Berry Growers Association! They've partnered with experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) to bring you the region’s first-ever blueberry intensives - two daylong sessions, starting at 8:30 AM:

March 5, 2019 - Ellicottville, NY in Cattaraugus County

March 14, 2019 - Millbrook, NY in Duchess County.

Register for The Blueberry Intensive Workshop — $35 for NYSBGA members; $45 for non-members.

Top professionals from Cornell University, CCE, Penn State University, Rutgers University, and more will cover don't-miss topics. Plus, successful blueberry growers will share their tips. Speakers will vary by location. Take home a resource packet of workshop materials you can refer back to every year.

Workshop Agendas. Both Blueberry Intensive Workshops include:

Choosing and prepping a site for blueberries 
Site selection and preparation — the most important aspects for long-term success! Learn how sites will impact overall plant growth, pest pressure, weed management, and fruit quality.

Blueberry diseases of note
Learn about the major diseases you need to be aware of — successful management strategies, fungicide programs, and organic tactics.

Managing blueberry insects
Main blueberry insect pests you need to know about: cranberry fruit worm, cherry fruit worm, blueberry maggot, SWD and more!

Using weather-tracking NEWA blueberry tools
Learn about upcoming NEWA berry tools that improve spray timing and IPM. Visit Bring your laptop!

Alternative options for markets
Farm to school, value added, nutraceuticals, organic wholesale — plentiful market options and demand for blueberries.

Berry Profitability Tool—knowledge is power!
Understand your expenses, how they compare, and learn how to strategize for success. Bring your expenses and plug them in to the Berry Profitability Tool. Bring your laptop!

Making it work!
David Duda, owner, Duda’s Blues Berry Farm, Machias, NY will share his success stories at the Ellicottville Workshop.
Jake Samascott, owner, Samascott Farm, Kinderhook, NY will share his success stories at the Millbrook Workshop.

Photo: R. Isaacs, Michigan State University

Blueberry nutrition
Feeding blueberries correctly — important and challenging: learn about crucial soil acidity (pH) and irrigation. Healthy plants better resist insects and diseases.

Post-harvest handling — reduce SWD, maintain quality
Get chill with your berries — remove field heat fast with forced air cooling. Maintain quality with modified atmosphere packaging and tools like a CoolBot.

Pruning correctly throughout the life of the planting
Like nutrition, good pruning builds an overall vigorous and pest durable plant. Learn how pruning tactics change as the plant moves through its juvenile period into the fruiting years.

Field Demonstrations!

Pest scouting and weed management 
Your top priority, season-long! At early pre-bud-break, learn what and how to look for: scale, mummyberry, and galls. Plus, weeds — timing herbicides and adding mulch.

Pruning demonstration
Hands-on opportunity! We’ll address cultivar differences in pruning approaches that will become obvious as we look at plants. Use a pneumatic pruner, as well as more traditional tools.

The Blueberry Intensive Workshop starts at 8:30 AM and ends at 4:30 PM. Lunch and breaks are included. DEC re-certification credits provided. Take home a resource packet of workshop materials you can refer back to every year.

Register for The Blueberry Intensive Workshop — $35 for NYSBGA members; $45 for non-members.

Register today at!


Yes, spotted lanternfly is looming on the horizon and we are teaming up to bring you information in a series of webinars. Each webinar will focus on, and be tailored to, a specific commodity group:

  • Feb. 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Hops, Berry, and Vegetable Growers
  • Feb. 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Grape and Apple Industries
  • Mar. 4, 2019, 10:00 a.m. - Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Christmas Tree Growers
  • Mar. 4, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Industries
Life stages of SLF - look for egg masses during winter and early spring, nymphs during spring and summer, and adults in late summer and fall.

In conjunction with the New York State IPM Program and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Northeastern IPM Center will host a collection of webinars, titled “Spotted Lanternfly Basics.”

All webinars will follow a similar format that covers spotted lanternfly biology, identification, and hosts, monitoring and management strategies, and a regulatory update. While the content may be relevant to audiences throughout the Northeast, management practices covered will be specific to New York. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions.

For more information and registration links, go to:

This attractive insect sucks the life out of plants, almost literally. And, it has a broad host range, preferring trees and other woody plants - grapes and apples are of concern, but we don't know if blueberry might be at risk. Not to mention the infestations that could develop on the shade trees in your yard.

Known distribution of spotted lanternfly, as of December 2018.

New York State has external quarantines in place to try to prevent its spreading into the state from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Learn more about this invasive species on the NYS IPM Program's Spotted Lanternfly webpage. And don't miss one of these opportunities to learn about this insect and get your questions answered.


For more information and registration links, go to:

  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Hops, Berry, and Vegetable Growers (Feb. 26, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Grape and Apple Industries (Feb. 26, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Christmas Tree Growers (Mar. 4, 2019, 10:00 a.m.)
  • Spotted Lanternfly Basics for Nursery, Greenhouse, and Landscape Industries (Mar. 4, 2019, 1:00 p.m.)
Skip to toolbar