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Orange County Greenhouse Integrated Pest Management Program 1997

Project Leaders: Susan MacAvery, Teresa Rusinek, Christine Casey and Andrew Corbin, Ben Carlos

Objectives:

1. Develop method for collecting & analyzing data to show the economic benefits of IPM on greenhouse production costs and crop quality.

2. Collaborate with IPM Area Specialist in biological control studies.

3. Expand and publicize the IPM program and Total Crop Management strategies in both Orange and Ulster Counties.

4. Provide educational opportunities for non-participating growers and the general public.

5. Improve the efficacy of pest control strategies in the greenhouse, thereby minimizing crop losses and reducing the quantity of pesticide used.

Results:

Over the past five years the Orange County IPM program has influenced greenhouse growers to use better watering and venting techniques, to improve their monitoring habits, and to use more biological controls. This year there were several examples of decreased production costs and increased crop quality that were directly tied to the use of IPM. In one case a grower had an isolated outbreak of powdery mildew that was discovered on the poinsettias by the grower's scout. The scout sought advice at Cornell, and steps were taken that averted a probable $7,500 loss. At another greenhouse an approximate reduction of 40 percent in pesticide applications was observed in the 1997 season. Other notable cases involved initial misidentifications of pests by growers that were corrected by IPM-trained scouts, averting unnecessary expense in unwarranted treatments.

A bedding plants school was attended by 100 people, and a perennials school was attended by 150. Extension specialists and greenhouse personnel were trained in scouting procedures and pest identification at a session in Rockland County. Greenhouse growers in both Orange and Ulster Counties received the Orange and Ulster Counties Crop Management News on a biweekly basis during the greenhouse IPM scouting seasons. This newsletter updates growers on overall crop performance, pest populations, and management recommendations.