In order to provide a background on the state of pollinators in NYS and how growers and consumers can affect their protection, we organized a statewide conference on Pollinator Protection.
As regional extension staff has decreased the need to efficiently and effectively use staff time and resources has increased. Sharing successful programs across the region offers an opportunity to reach more producers with the limited staff available. Four indepth short courses where offered via webex video conferencing to 205 dairy farmers. Each course provided 15-20 hours of lecture and hands on farm experience.
The Winter Dairy Management program was held at 10 different sites across New York State. It's intended audience was dairy farmers, agriculture students and agriservice professionals. 296 people participated in the program. Program evaluations indicated that the program was very successful in providing information that farmers would use on their farms to increase profitability.
The NYS Field Crop Weekly Pest Report provides timely pest information to field crop extension educators and agricultural professionals. The report compiles weekly pest and crop observations collected by field crop extension personnel across NYS. In addition, the weekly report provides a vehicle to disseminate other relevant IPM information such as pest identification, scouting techniques and a calendar with suggestions for pest management activities.
Studying Colorado potato beetles, a major pest of potatoes, we will measure how plant resistance and temporal variation in predator presence affect the non-consumptive and total effect of the stink bug predator on the beetle life time fitness and plant damage including effects on the next generation that is not exposed to predation. We will measure physiological, behavioral and developmental mechanisms by which beetle larvae compensate for responses to predation risk and how these contribute to fitness in the presence of additional stresses.
Late blight is a serious plant disease that affects both gardeners and farmers. Because infected plants produce huge quantities of spores that spread the disease, accurate disease identification and appropriate response are important for everyone in the community growing tomatoes or potatoes. We engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program coordinators to plan and present a series of five workshops for Master Gardener Volunteers across the state.
In order to communicate with a wide diversity of stakeholders quickly and economically, and to provide information to stakeholders we may not be able to communicate with directly, a range of electronic methods of communication and information exchange on ornamental IPM have been created. These include improvements to the website, expanded Pest Alerts, the development of blogs, and a Twitter feed.
Extreme winter low temperatures in January and February 2014 caused winter injury to grapevine buds. In response, regional grape extension programs (Lake Erie, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Northern NY) examined buds from over 200 vineyard blocks to characterize the extent of the injury. NYS Dept. of Ag and Markets asked us to assess the resulting crop reduction, to provide backup for a waiver to allow farm winery licencees to purchase fruit out of state.
Grape rootworm is making a comeback in Lake Erie vineyards, reducing vine size and yield and Cornell extension and research staffs are ensuring growers have the tools needed to effectively manage this pest.
The Dairy Acceleration Program, a collaboration of Cornell PRO-DAIRY and Cornell Cooperative Extension with the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Environmental Conservation has helped more than 100 New York small- to medium-sized dairy farms assess plans for growth of their businesses and/or improve their environmental stewardship through new or updated Comprehensive Nutrient Management plans. The first 10 of these farms to report on the outcomes of their business plans have invested more than $7 million into their farm businesses.