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Integrated Crop and Pest Management TAg Teams for New York 1997

Project Leader:P. l. Sutton

Objectives:

1. Maintain and, where possible, expand the TAg concept into more counties, with involvement of 60 farmers and 15 agricultural industry representatives. Train neighbors along with farmers in one or two teams, in hopes that the non-farmer neighbors might better understand the pest control practices conducted near their homes.

2. Maintain and improve use of the database obtained from TAg.

3. Continue the TAg Notes newsletter and expand to 9 issues.

4. Develop better evaluation methods to test current program impact as well as the continuing impact demonstrated by alumni.

Results:

Sixty-nine farmers from 11 counties participated in TAg Teams. Pest and field management issues discussed included potato leafhopper and alfalfa weevil in alfalfa, corn rootworm and early-season corn pests in grain and field corn, weed management in alfalfa and corn, and soil fertility and nutrient management. Potato leafhopper populations were the highest in two decades, posing a serious threat to alfalfa production. A phone survey was conducted to ascertain the effect of this pest problem and to compare the responses of TAg participants to those without TAg training. Results showed that TAg farmers were more proactive in dealing with the potato leafhopper problem than were other farmers.