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Commissioner's Message

State of New York
Department of Agriculture and Markets
1 Winners Circle
Albany, New York 12235

Phone: (518) 457-4188 Fax: (518) 457-3087

George E. Pataki
Governor

Donald R. Davidsen, D.V.M.
Commissioner

This eleventh annual report on the work of the New York State IPM Program ushers in a new era of increased visibility and impact of the Program on New York's citizens. In 1996, the start of the second decade of state support of this vital program, writers and editors from major publications learned the ABC's of IPM in New York City at a two-day workshop titled "IPM: In Partnership with Nature." The workshop consisted of presentations about integrated pest management interspersed with visits to fruit, vegetable, and dairy farms and greenhouses where IPM is practiced.

A new tradition of recognizing and rewarding outstanding IPM practitioners in New York was begun in 1996. Eight "Excellence in IPM" awards were given to growers, consultants, a scientist, a food processing company, and an extension office. Eight Excellence in IPM awards are being offered in 1997 as well.

IPM-labeled canned and frozen vegetables were made available to consumers for the first time in this country. A dynamic partnership of growers, a food retailer, a food processor, and IPM experts at Cornell made it all possible.

Lists of protocols to be followed in growing IPM crops, called "elements of IPM," were formulated by the same partnership of growers, scientists, and food industry representatives. The "elements" serve to define IPM more precisely. They are likely to aid in the adoption of IPM by New York's growers, bringing us closer to the federal government's goal of 75 percent adoption of IPM by the year 2000.

The Northeast Weather Association (NEWA) was born in 1996 as a nonprofit corporation offering subscribers both agricultural weather data and a computerized forum for discussing weather-related concerns. This effort was begun with funds provided by the New York State IPM Program. NEWA is filling a gap left when the federal government determined that it could no longer offer agricultural weather services. Its membership and its range of services will both be expanded in 1997.

The 1996 state appropriation of $837,000 for IPM was used to fund 44 implementation and research projects in four commodity areas - fruit, livestock and field crops, ornamental crops, and vegetables. Sixteen of these were educational outreach efforts in a wide variety of commodities; another 10 explored innovative biological control methods; and the remainder looked at aspects of IPM such as host plant resistance, cultural controls, and pest biology.

Common to all of these endeavors is a dedication to improving the quality of life in New York State by improving the way in which our food crops and other agricultural commodities are produced while lessening the impact such production has on our environment.

Sincerely,

Donald V. Davidsen, D.V.M.
Commissioner