by Abby Seaman
Colleen Daly, Senior Technical Manager and IPM consultant for Agricultural Consulting Services, Inc.
Colleen manages 250,000 acres of vegetable and field crops for clients across New York State. Her knowledge of IPM and passion for these principles bring value to her client relationships and the quality of service she provides.
Her success reducing pesticide use in a pilot project in processing snap beans resulted in a contract with Seneca Foods to manage all aspects of integrated pest management on 8,500 acres of beans. Agricultural Consulting Services has overseen pest management on nearly all the processing sweet corn acreage in New York since 1986, resulting in a 65% reduction in insecticide usage and one of the lowest pest management costs in the industry. Since 2006, the success of this program can be attributed to Colleen's management and oversight of all IPM practices on this acreage.
Her acute observations and responsiveness to client needs helped dairy farmers manage mycotoxins in high digestibility corn sileage. Colleen recognized that a move toward reduced tillage left more residue in the field, resulting in more potential carryover of disease inoculum. She developed monitoring programs and linked observations with varietal susceptibility information to develop thresholds for fungicide applications that improved crop quality without use of fungicides on all acreage.
Colleen continues to innovate and improve crop and pest management practices with her clients. As one of the farmers nominating her for the award said: "The most exciting part of our relationship with Colleen and the rest of the staff of ACS is the fact that this field of good stewardship evolves as new information is discovered, new techniques are tried and new technologies are born. Colleen Daly has a passion for this industry, her clients and the science."