Wilts, blights, spots, aphids and other insects, microbes, growing media, and more are on the agenda for four upcoming integrated pest management workshop/field days. The goal is to help ornamental and vegetable crop growers.
The growers will learn hands-on about crop pests, how to manage them with beneficial insects, and how to reduce pesticide use through enhanced IPM practices, and tour a local greenhouse business.
The workshops are made possible through New York Farm Viability Institute funding. They draws heavily on the expertise of the New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.
One of the project mentors, Mark Yadon with Mischler's Florist and Greenhouse in Williamsville, N.Y., says, "I just do not want to spray. Spraying is uncomfortable, semi-dangerous, hard work that must be done at inconvenient times (after the business closes) so you can open to the public the next day. Biocontrols work and work well. Why not use them?"
Ornamental and high tunnel programs
"These workshops provide growers with the latest information from Cornell University and the New York State IPM Program as well as lessons grower-to-grower interaction on IPM methods and economic and environmental benefits," says Ornamental IPM Educator Elizabeth "Betsy" Lamb.
Sept.19 for ornamental growers at Bedfords Greenhouse in Akron, N.Y.
Nov. 27-28 for high tunnel crop growers at eastern New York sites to be determined.
Workshop participants will work with microscopes, meters, measuring and other equipment to better understand such issues as fungal diseases, the "ABCs of aphids," how to evaluate compost for use, and how to use microbial inoculants to suppress plant disease.
Lamb points out that while there may be a specific crop focus at the workshops, anyone interested in learning IPM concepts will benefit from attending the educational events. "Those who already practice IPM can attend these workshops to learn even more ways to spray less through cultural and biological control methods, timing, and targeted applications."
To register, contact Lamb at 607-254-8800, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas tree IPM
Workshops for Christmas tree growers have also been scheduled by the NYS IPM Program. And, the IPM how-to manual for Christmas tree growers is now being updated. The workshops will be held:
Sept.22, 8 a.m., at Goderie's Tree Farm, Johnstown, N.Y. (Fulton County) Contact Pete Goderie, 518-883-8196, www.goderiestreefarm.com/openhouse.htm
Oct.12, 10 a.m. at Red Barn Tree Farm, Brainardsville, N.Y. (Franklin County). Contact Richard Gast, Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County, 518-483-7403.