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NYS IPM 2003
Excellence-in-IPM Award Winners:
Art Agnello

Cornell professor Art Agnello bans borers, wins IPM award

Art Agnello
Art Agnello receives his Excellence-in-IPM Award from
Michael Hoffmann, Director of the IPM program, and
Nathan Rudgers, Commissioner of the NYS Dept. of
Agriculture and Markets.

Agnello earned the honor through his innovative work in helping fruit growers solve difficult pest problems in ways that pose minimal risks, whether to the environment, human health, or economic well-being.

As researcher who spends a good part of his time out in the field—among the apple, peach, pear and cherry orchards that stretch from one end of New York to the other—Agnello develops simplified ways of monitoring pests and integrates biological controls into pest management strategies. Recently, his work on disrupting the life cycles of peach tree borers with pheromones, the chemical signals that many pests use to communicate with each other, has produced such complete control that growers no longer need to apply pesticide drenches to their trees.

“Art is a team player with a commitment to the IPM philosophy and translating this philosophy into practical day-to-day actions,” says Jan Nyrop, professor of entomology at Cornell University.

Agnello makes sure that his results get in the right hands by publishing Scaffolds, an online newsletter targeted to orchardists.

“His timing with specific articles is impressive,” says John Halsey of Water Mill, New York, who grows 28 varieties of apples including Fuji, Braeburn, and Pink Lady. “Just as we are thinking about what should be done next in the orchard, Art has an article to back up our thoughts and to answer important questions.”

Agnello’s work is known far beyond the boundaries of New York State. “He is a national leader in the arena of tree fruit IPM,” says James Walgenbach, professor of entomology at North Carolina State University.

Agnello received his award on February 11 at the Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Rochester, NY.

written by by Mary Woodsen