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Allium Leafminer Spring Flight Update

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 31, 2018

The spring flight of the new invasive insect pest, the allium leafminer, began in late April with the first confirmed activity in the Red Hook area. Adults have gradually emerged from pupae in the soil and in cull piles for the past four weeks and have been feeding and laying eggs on allium leaves during that time. The diagnostic sign of this adult feeding and egg-laying is a vertical line of dots, typically found near the tip of host crop leaves. These oviposition scars are sometimes accompanied by faint, mostly vertical lines that run down the leaf blade toward the soil. These "mines" are caused by allium leafminer (ALM) maggots feeding on the interior leaf tissue.

We are still actively studying this new pest to better guide allium growers in the region on best management practices. Here are some important updates based on that work:

1.  Not all oviposition scars are egg-laying sites: Adult females use their ovipositor (egg-laying organ) to create the small dots in the leaf tissue. Adults feed on the plant exudates that are released through those physical wounds. We are studying leaf samples from multiple allium species during the adult flight period to try to determine what percentage of those oviposition locations are, on average, active egg-laying sites versus feeding sites. What is certain at this point is that NOT ALL OVIPOSITION SCARS ARE ACTIVE EGG-LAYING SITES. That means that even if you find 20 oviposition dots on a leaf, there are likely far fewer eggs in the leaf tissue. Fewer eggs mean fewer maggots, which means less potential for significant damage to crops.

2.  I still found several adult flies in the field on Monday, May 21st. Though some adults may still be active, I am confident that we are past the period of peak flight and that there is little risk of additional egg-laying on crops at this time. THIS MEANS THAT GROWERS USING ROW COVER OR INSECT NETTING TO EXCLUDE ADULTS CAN REMOVE THEM AT THIS POINT WITH LITTLE RISK OF ADDITIONAL ALM DAMAGE. Maggots will continue to hatch from recently laid eggs and further damage crops for the next couple of weeks.

3.  We are still collaborating with the Cornell entomologist Dr. Brian Nault on insecticide efficacy evaluations of both conventional and OMRI products. We will update growers prior to the beginning of thefall flight of ALM (anticipated in mid-to-late September) with findings from those trials. If extensive maggot mining is observed, Radiant SC (spinetoram, IRAC group 5) mixed with a penetrating surfactant (such as LI 700) can be used with a 1-day Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI) on most allium crops for dipteran leafminer control. Since the maggots are inside the leaf tissue, only active ingredients with translaminar (penetrates locally through the leaf tissue where the product makes contact) or systemic (is absorbed through the leaf tissue and moved upward throughout the plant vascular system) activity will reduce damage. Contact insecticides, such as pyrethroids (IRAC Group 3A) will NOT be effective at this point.

4. We have confirmed ALM activity as far north as Schoharie and Grafton and as far east as Berkshire County, Massachusetts. ALLIUM GROWERS AS FAR NORTH AS GLENS FALLS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO PROTECT FALL ALLIUMS FROM ALM and be on the lookout for alerts from the ENYCHP team once the fall emergence in confirmed.

 If you suspect ALM activity on your farm and would like further recommendations for management, feel free to reach out to me directly at 617-455-1893 or Teresa Rusinek at tr28@cornell.edu.

 

almAdult allium leafminer fly with characteristic vertical line of oviposition feeding and egg-laying scars (Photo E Grundberg)



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Upcoming Events

October Last Monday Grant Webinar for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

October 28, 2019
4:00 pm

Are you curious about what grants are available to help your farm business?

To help disseminate information on grants on a consistent basis, ENYCH is offering a "current grants" webinar on the last Monday of every month at 4:00pm

Each month's webinar focuses on 1 grant.  The October webinar topic is TBD but might feature Ag Labor Housing Grants.
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Produce Safety Alliance FSMA Grower Training Course

October 30, 2019
8am - 5pm
Canajoharie, NY

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  At least one person per farm producing more than $25,000 worth of fruits and vegetables must attend this course once.  Participants will receive a certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials. 

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Tarping for Reduced Tillage Workshop

November 2 - November 19, 2019

Are you a vegetable farmer already using tarps? Or are you wondering if and how tarps could work best on your farm?

The Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to announce a series of workshops on tarping for reduced tillage in small-scale vegetable systems, to be held in Maine and New York this fall. The Reduced Tillage (RT) project of the Cornell Small Farms Program supports farmers in adopting scale-appropriate RT practices that can lead to healthy, productive soils and greater profitability. Through the evaluation of novel tools and methods using systems-based field research and on-farm trials, the project helps farmers learn about the approaches that can work for their farm. This work is accomplished in collaboration with the University of Maine, and with support from Northeast SARE.

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Announcements

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

Climate Change Adaptations

September 30, 2019
In this episode regional vegetable specialist Elisabeth Hodgdon interviews University of Vermont PHD student Alissa White about a series of interviews with growers in the north east concerning climate change adaptations.

Listeners can access Alissa White’s climate change adaptation survey report and additional information on the project by clicking on the following link:

https://adaptationsurvey.wordpress.com/results/
Alissa’s project was sponsored by a Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant (GNE17-163).

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