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Common Asparagus Beetle Management During Harvest Season

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 9, 2018

The beginning stages of Common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagiI) infestations often go unnoticed. Since the beetles have two to three generations per year (depending upon where you are in our region), the population can build quickly over the course of a couple of years and catch growers off-guard at harvest. 

Overwintered adults emerge from their pupae about the same time that asparagus spears begin to push. They quickly begin to feed on the tender shoots causing a sort of rasping damage that browns quickly in the field or post-harvest. The beetles then mate and deposit their eggs in vertical lines along the spears as shown in the image. After about a week, those eggs hatch into small grubs that continue to feed on spears before pupating in the soil. 

Though the larvae, not adults, are most susceptible to insecticides, growers experiencing significant early damage (the economic threshold is suggested to be when 5%-10% of spears have adults present) may need to use an insecticide to knock down the adults before targeting larvae and later generations on ferns. Given the need to continue harvesting every 1-2 days (a practice that also helps remove eggs from the field to slow the population growth), a short Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI) and Restricted Entry Interval (REI) are key to selecting an appropriate labeled insecticide. 

The standard insecticide options are pyrethroids (IRAC Group 3A), such as Pounce 25 WP and other labeled permethrin formulations (1 day PHI, 12 hour REI) or PyGanic 5.0 (OMRI, 0 day PHI, 12 hour REI). Some neonicitnoids (IRAC Group 4A), such as Assail 70 WP and Anarchy 30 SG (both acetamiprid), are also labeled for asparagus beetle adults and larvae during harvest (1 day PHI, 12 hour REI). Lannate (methomyl, IRAC Group 1A), is also options if you are willing to equip the harvest crew with early entry PPE (1 day PHI, 48 hour REI) to continue removing egg masses on cut spears. An easier option for those looking to use an organophosphate is Sevin XLR Plus (carbaryl, 1 day PHI, 12 hour REI). Note that Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) is sometimes recommended in other states, but IS NOT allowed for use on asparagus in New York. 

For heavily infested fields, continue scouting the asparagus after harvest and target second and/or third generations with any of the options listed above or with IRAC Group 5 spinosyns, such as Radiant or Entrust (OMRI), both of which have a 60 day PHI. Cleaning fields of old stalks after mowing in the fall can also help reduce the overwintering populations.  

Image 11. Common asparagus beetle adults feeding on an emerging spear
Image 22. Grayish colored asparagus beetle eggs visible in a vertical line on a young spear




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Apples

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Brussels Sprouts

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Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

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Lettuce / Leafy Greens

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Pumpkins / Gourds

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Radishes

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Raspberries / Blackberries

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Rhubarb

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Squash - Summer

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Sweet Corn

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Upcoming Events

High Tech Precision Orchard Spraying

July 20, 2020

Join us the afternoon of July 20th to learn what's new in orchard precision spraying technology. We'll be joined by Dr. Jason Deveau, Dr. Heping Zhu, and Steve Booher.  After their presentations, we will open up the meeting for all three presenters to field questions and comments. 

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Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

2020 Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 6 7/1/20

July 2, 2020
The July 1st, 2020 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update (1:05)
Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (9:10)
Managing Caterpillar Pests in Brassicas (12:53)
Strawberry Renovation (17:56)
Developing a Safety Plan to Comply with NY Forward Phased Re-Opening Requirements (24:12)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

NY Forward Safety Plans
Introductory “how to” video for writing your plan:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2PH3wCgdhc&feature=youtu.be

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development NY Forward business safety plan support for farms
https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/ny-forward-business-safety-plan/
• Plan templates
• Guidance and considerations for plan writing
• Links to “how to” videos
• Links to additional resources such as log templates, hand washing station plans, and more
• Webinar recordings

NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets novel coronavirus page: Guidance documents for farm businesses in multiple languages
https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus

Strawberry Renovation
For more in-depth information re: strawberry renovation, visit http://www.hort.cornell.edu/fruit/nybn/newslettpdfs/2014/nybn1306.pdf.

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