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2018 Northern NY Trap Data and Pest Exclusion with Hail Netting

Mike Basedow, Tree Fruit Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

October 23, 2018

During the 2018 growing season, we maintained an IPM trapping network in Northern New York, ranging from Chazy in Northern Clinton County to Rexford in Southern Saratoga County.  From May through mid-September, we sent weekly e-alerts of our trap counts for oriental fruit moth, codling moth, obliquebanded leafroller, and apple maggot.  Now that harvest is winding down, I would like to review this season's pest trends, and discuss what we observed from our hail netting trials in the Champlain Valley.


2018 Trap Data Compared to the Four Year Average

This year we once again monitored four key pest populations, and are now comparing their numbers to our captures from the previous three seasons. Compared to the four year average (2015-2018), we were below average for OFM catches this season in Northern New York. Moth activity was greatest in Washington County the week of May 30th. There was also a notable spike in activity in Essex County in early August, however all of our other sites never caught above eleven moths/trap/week (Figure 1). 

Trap catches for codling moth were also below our four year average, with catches never exceeding six moths/trap/week in our Clinton County traps (Figure 2).  The highest capture was 21 moths/trap/week in Saratoga County the week of May 30th.

OBLR captures were also relatively low this year, at nearly half the four year average. We saw two relatively distinct flight periods; one centered on late June, and another from late August to early September (Figure 3).

Apple maggot catches were high in the Champlain Valley this season, at nearly twice our four year average. We had many weeks of catches above the economic threshold of five flies per trap (Figure 4), which necessitated timely insecticide applications throughout the latter part of the summer.


Netting versus Uncovered Trap Captures

This season, we also set up netting trials in orchards in Clinton and Essex counties, where growers were already utilizing Drapenet hail netting for hail protection. Our objective was to determine if hail nets could also be used to exclude insect pests as part of an integrated pest management program, and what impact netting might have on fruit injury due to pest damage. Traps were placed in rows that were later covered with Drapenet hail netting, and duplicate traps were placed in nearby uncovered rows. Trees were covered with nets shortly after fruit thinning, occurring in the second to third week of June in most of our trial sites.

While oriental fruit moths usually begin flying prior to this date in the Champlain Valley, we had very few moths in our traps prior to the nets being put up. Using a regression model to compare the amounts of moths found between the netted and uncovered treatments, we found the traps under the netting had significantly fewer OFM (Figure 5). At one site, OFM counts were lower under the net during the two weeks OFM were caught at the site. Two sites had reduced captures under the net in all but one of the weeks when OFM were present. Another site had lower OFM under the net just one of the four weeks OFM were present; while a final site had lower moth numbers under the net just two of the six weeks when OFM were present. With that said, OFM captures were low throughout the growing season in all but one of our netting study sites (no more than 5/moths/week).

Using a similar regression model, we found that codling moth catches were also significantly reduced under the netting. Excluding weeks where CM were not caught in either trap at a site, traps from trees under the netting had consistently fewer CM at four of the five sites (Figure 6). At the other site (Clinton 3), there was a single week where CM captures under the netting were equal to the uncovered row, one week where captures were higher under the netting, and seven weeks where captures were lower under the netting. In general, CM counts were relatively low throughout the season.

Our regression model found that traps in netted trees also captured significantly fewer OBLR. In weeks where OBLR were present, captures were consistently lower under the nets than in uncovered rows at three of the five sites (Figure 7). The other two sites each had one week where we caught a single OBLR under the netting, while the uncovered traps caught none. OBLR captures were also relatively low throughout the growing season.

Apple maggot trap captures were significantly lower under the netted trees. In four of our five sites, weekly captures were lower in the netted rows in weeks when flies were present (Figure 8). At the other site (Clinton 4), we caught fewer flies in the netted trees in seven of the ten weeks.


Fruit Injury

In addition to comparing the total number of captures at our five sites, we also conducted fruit injury ratings in July and August at the four sites in Clinton County.  300 fruit were rated for pest damage from the netted and uncovered sites, respectively. We also rated damage from plum curculio, tarnished plant bug, San Jose scale, and European apple sawfly. All blocks had been treated throughout the season with each orchard's standard pest management program, so injury was very low in the netted and uncovered blocks in July and August. We saw no significant differences in pest injury for any of the pests in either survey.


Concluding Thoughts

So, with all this in mind, is there any chance of using hail netting for physical pest exclusion? While the netting reduced the number of pests captured in our traps most weeks across our sites, the pests were often still there. Netting may help reduce pest numbers enough to reduce the total number of sprays needed for some pests, particularly for pests where spray decisions are based on well-established economic thresholds, like apple maggot.

From our general observations, sites with the most effective exclusion had their nets tightly tied to the lower limbs and trunks of the trees. At sites that achieved less effective control, netting was attached loosely to the lower limbs, so pests were better able to enter the net from under the canopy. Canopy shape may also play a role, as the site with the best control applied netting to trees grown to a tall spindle training system, while netted trees at our other field sites were larger central leader trees, which had very wide openings at the bottom. 

As a final note, this study contains one year of data from a year of relatively light moth pest pressure. Further studies should be conducted to determine the full extent of the use of netting for exclusion purposes. 


Acknowledgements

This work was sponsored by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project "Identification and physical exclusion of key pests in apple orchards in Northern New York." Thanks to Andy Galimberti for his assistance in this project, and to our cooperating orchards. 



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Upcoming Events

Farm Financial Management Tuesdays - Planning for a Change or Exiting Your Farm Business

November 30, 2021 : Assessing the Financial Ramifications of and Options for Significant Change to Your Farm Business

The inflationary economy is upon us! The huge influx of money into the US economy following the COVID-19 pandemic has manufactured high prices and in turn increased operating costs for farm business thus forcing many businesses into net operating loss situations. Other farms are facing high labor costs or chronic labor shortages.  Some farms have taken on debt loads that make these increased costs unaffordable.  Depending on the stage in the business lifecycle, it may make sense to change enterprises or exit the farming business entirely. 

Join CCE ENYCH Ag Business Educator, Elizabeth Higgins, and CAAHP Ag Business Educator, Dayton Maxwell, for a one-hour program to learn about the financial aspects of changing or exiting a farm business. 

December 7, 2021 : The Family and Emotional Component; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

As farm business enterprises are changed or disbanded, the emotional stress can be tremendous, especially when individuals and family members maintain diminished assurance relative to future security. 

Join Gabriel Gurley and Brenda O'Brien of New York FarmNet for a one-hour program focused on successfully navigating the emotional turmoil of a family farm business transition.

December 14, 2021 : New Venture Creation; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

Change creates opportunity and new opportunities are certain when farm businesses change or end. 

Join Gabriel Gurley of New York FarmNet for a one-hour overview of identifying ways and means to capitalize on new opportunities resulting from farm business transitions.

 

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Remote Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course - Dec 2021

December 8 - December 9, 2021

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farms subject to the Produce Safety Rule. All farms are welcome to attend to learn about recommended food safety practices for growing, handling, and storing fresh produce. Course registration fee includes a course manual and certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

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Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses

January 18, 2022

Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses.

A one-night virtual meeting for beginning and part-time farmers that provides useful tax information enabling participants to be make better tax decisions for their business.   Federal and state income taxes will be covered. Tax regulations specific to NYS will be covered as well. 


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Announcements

2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide

Prepare your sprayer and make sure you have the insecticides of choice on hand. Click on the following link for the revised 2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide: https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_981.pdf

Current recommendations are to use the most effective material you can early in the spray program - even though the population seems small. The strategy is to keep the population small for as long as possible as it's very hard to gain control after the numbers have ballooned.  

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

Severe weather events create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Risk Management
For producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), we want to remind you to report crop damage to your crop insurance agent or the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

If you have crop insurance, contact your agency within 72 hours of discovering damage and be sure to follow up in writing within 15 days. If you have NAP coverage, file a Notice of Loss (also called Form CCC-576) within 15 days of loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours.

Disaster Assistance
USDA also offers disaster assistance programs, which is especially important to livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers who have fewer risk management options.
First, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage. And, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers of grazed forage crop acres that have suffered crop loss due to a qualifying drought. Livestock producers suffering the impacts of drought can also request Emergency Haying and Grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres.

For LIP and ELAP, you will need to file a Notice of Loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days. For TAP, you will need to file a program application within 90 days.

Documentation
It's critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to after the loss.

Other common documentation options include:
- Purchase records
- Production records
- Vaccination records
- Bank or other loan documents
- Third-party certification

Additional Resources
On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options.

While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the Rensselaer County USDA Service Center @ 518 271 1889 ext. 2. The office is open for business, however due to pandemic restrictions all in-person visits require an appointment.


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

FSMA Updates with Gretchen Wall

August 10, 2021
In this episode, Elisabeth Hodgdon discusses news and updates related to FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule with food safety specialist Gretchen Wall. They discuss inspection schedules for the 2021 season, On Farm Readiness Reviews, water testing, new resources available for growers, and more.

Resources:
Records Required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, by K. Woods, D. Stoeckel, B. Fick, G. Wall, and E.A. Bihn. This fact sheet includes an explanation of required records as well as printable record templates:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/sites/producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Records-Required-by-the-FSMA-PSR.pdf

Upcoming Remote, Online, and In-Person Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Courses:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/grower-training-courses/upcoming-grower-trainings/

Interactive Google map of water testing labs, created by the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?amp%3Busp=sharing&mid=1C8KHM6jJszj9auYQttUbVtPKtb4eEBSJ&ll=41.22288057139939%2C-78.58548244999999&z=5\

Interested in joining the Produce Safety Alliance listserv? Sign up here to receive FSMA updates, notifications of educational opportunities and new resources, and more:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/

Contact Information:
To schedule an On Farm Readiness Review or discuss your farm’s FSMA PSR coverage status, contact Steve Schirmer (315-487–0852 or steve.schirmer@agriculture.ny.gov), or Aaron Finley (518-474-5235 or aaron.finley@agriculture.ny.gov).

Episode speakers:
Elisabeth Hodgdon, ENYCHP vegetable specialist: 518-650-5323 or eh528@cornell.edu
Gretchen Wall, Produce Safety Alliance coordinator and Northeast Regional Extension Associate: 607-882-3087 or glw53@cornell.edu

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