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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

Ag Manager Webinar Series: Ag Tax Topics - Sales Tax and Property Tax Issues for Ag in NYS

August 27, 2019
12:30 - 12:50pm

Join Liz Higgins from the CCE ENYCHP every other Tuesday at 12:30pm throughout the summer as she discusses pertinent business topics for busy farm managers.
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Willsboro Farm High Tunnel Twilight Meeting

August 27, 2019
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Willsboro, NY

Join vegetable specialists Elisabeth Hodgdon, Jud Reid, and farm manager Mike Davis for a high tunnel and field tour at Cornell's Willsboro Research Farm, where they will share research results for the following projects: 
  • Striped cucumber beetle management suing netting and row cover
  • Varietal differences in cucumber susceptibility to striped cucumber beetle
  • Ground cherry and goldenberry production in field and high tunnel environments
  • Overwintered high tunnel spinach nitrogen fertility 

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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

Biweekly Vegetable News Podcast - Episode 9 - 08/21/19

August 21, 2019
The August 21st, 2019 edition of the Eastern New York Vegetable News covers the following topics:

Changes to Worker Housing Regulations in the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act (1:25)
Managing Alternaria Leaf Spot and Head Rot on Broccoli (4:25)
Gauging Winter Squash Maturity for Harvest (10:05)
Insects in Hemp, especially European Corn Borers (18:33)
Guidance on the Dropped Covered Produce Provision of the Food Safety Modernization Act (22:53)
Cucurbit Downy Mildew Management Update (27:02)
Report from the BioControl Field Day and Weed Management Recommendations (31:07)
Day Neutral Strawberries (40:33)

Here are links to additional resources mentioned in the episode:

Current Housing Regulations for Seasonal and Migrant Farmworkers
(On January 1, 2020, these will now apply to farms housing any number of seasonal and migrant farmworkers)

Public Health Law, section 225, NYCRR Title 10 Health, Part 15, Migrant Housing: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/nycrr/title_10/part_15/

Managing Alternaria Leaf Spot and Head Rot in Broccoli

Sue Scheufele “Can Alternaria Leaf Spot Be Managed Organically?” http://www.hort.cornell.edu/expo/proceedings/2013/Cole%20Crops/Cole%20Crops%20Scheufele%20Alternaria.pdf

Christy Hoepting “Control of Alternaria head rot in broccoli featuring exciting results from 2018 on‐farm fungicide trial” http://www.hort.cornell.edu/expo/pdf/20190115-all-day-hoepting.pdf

Dropped Covered Produce:
FDA Factsheet on Dropped Covered Produce: https://www.fda.gov/media/129568/download

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