Sustainable Pest Management for New York Urban Farmers

Progress report for LNE21-421

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2021: $136,585.00
Projected End Date: 11/30/2024
Grant Recipient: Cornell Vegetable Program
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Judson Reid
Cornell Vegetable Program
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Project Information

Summary:

Problem and Justification: Urban farmers are unique among agriculturalists as they operate on a smaller scale in settings with less biological diversity and have less pest management options. Members of the project team have conducted more than 300 farm visits in Buffalo and NYC to date and observed that growers are challenged by pests that are not typically significant in rural NY settings, like Harlequin Bug, Two Spotted Spider Mite, and Whitefly.  While pests are universally problematic for all agricultural producers, challenges in urban areas are unique and include limited space, lack of scale appropriate IPM inputs, limited research, and historically minimal technical support from Extension and crop service providers.  

Solution and Approach: Our solution is to recruit 15 farms in Buffalo and NYC to participate in on-farm demonstration trials. These trials will educate growers on sustainable, non-spray options that are economically and environmentally sustainable while contributing to the social mission of the farms. Furthermore, they will simultaneously be used to evaluate the suitability of certain controls (exclusion, biological controls, varietal resistance, intercropping) in an urban setting. Farmers and project team members will identify site-specific pest management needs and sustainable solutions will be implemented and evaluated. Data and experiences will then be shared with other farmers through virtual and in-person events. Evaluation will document adoption and impact of sustainable techniques by farmers . 

There are urban farms located in every major city throughout NYS, and although educators have a clear idea of the predominate pests in Buffalo and NYC, urban farms in other cities may experience different pests or challenges in managing them. To assess the needs of the greater NYS urban agriculture community, an estimated 75 urban farms across NYS will be surveyed to assess their respective needs in pest management. The survey will focus on identifying the most challenging pests on urban farms, how pests are currently managed, and perceived benefits urban growers are getting from those practices. This data can in turn be used by Extension educators, crop service providers, and researchers to direct future research and education efforts.    

As part of the project, we will develop a guide on sustainable pest management practices for urban farms. Findings from the on-farm trials will be included, as well as a review on the different types of pest management practices (mechanical, biological, cultural, etc.), and additional resources that farmers can turn to for pest management help. To reduce barriers to accessing this knowledge, this guide will be translated into three foreign languages. This translated resource can greatly improve the ability for ESL or non-English speaking growers to succeed in their farming endeavors and thus increase the diversity of urban and rural farming in NYS and across the Northeast.  

 

 

 

 

Performance Target:

15 farmers in Buffalo and NYC will see an increase in revenue of $2000/acre as a result of implementing sustainable pest management practices for urban agriculture; and/or report quantifiable improved success in their social missions such as number of youths gaining pest management skills or diverse audiences reached. Increase in revenue will be the result of higher quality vegetables, improved yields, and decreased labor on pest management and sorting. This project will reach a diverse farmer base including minority and female farmers, new and beginning growers, and youth.

Introduction:

While there is no USDA Census data that reports on Urban Agriculture, urban farms are present in each of the 13 states in the NESARE region. In NYS alone, there are an estimated 75 urban farms. These farms may range in size from 0.25 to 2 acres. Urban farmers face unique challenges with pest production that are not extensively addressed through research or extension efforts. Urban soils have been heavily influenced by human activities such as construction, vehicular activity, or industrial activities and the status and health of urban soils influences the type of production urban growers engage in and how they manage pests.

Urban farms, unlike small rural farms,are surrounded by community gardens, home gardens, and school gardens. The concentration of these micro-production sites may increase the number and type of pests that urban farmers must battle. Close proximity to home gardens may increase the number of suitable host plants for insects and diseases and provide opportunities for pests to overwinter. Cities are often ports of entry and urban farms may be the first to be exposed to new, exotic pests. Urban communities are more demographically diverse than rural areas and urban farms often strive to grow culturally relevant foods for their neighborhoods. This may mean growing crops that are not typical for that climate and very little may be known about managing pests or diseases of these new crops. Urban centers are well known to be heat islands, in that the temperature of cities is often a few degrees warmer that surrounding areas due to the presence of impervious surfaces and buildings.

There are urban farms located in every major city throughout NYS, and although educators have a clear idea of the predominate pests in Buffalo and NYC, urban farms in other cities may experience different pests or challenges in managing them.  We anticipate a total of 15 farms across NYC and Buffalo will host demonstration trials that implement non-chemical pest management strategies such as host resistance, release of natural enemies/biological control, pest exclusion, intercropping or companion planting, to name a few. Farms will be recruited via the relationships that project members have already established with growers in NYC and Buffalo. The on-farm trials will provide growers the opportunity to observe the benefits of pest management practices first-hand.  On-farm workshops will be held to facilitate peer to peer learning. We anticipate hosting or participating in 3 workshops per year (9 total over project period). Workshops will be predominantly held in NYC or Buffalo, with 2-3workshops prioritized for another urban area, i.e. Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Binghamton, etc. Workshops will be advertised on the Cornell Vegetable Program page, Harvest NY page, social media accounts, and in other relevant newsletters. The project team will adapt meetings to a virtual format if needed. Workshops will concentrate ontopics likepest identification, scouting, cultural, mechanical, and biological controls, creating beneficial habitat for natural enemies, etc. Farms in Buffalo and NYC that host pest management trials will serve as locations for workshops.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand/collapse or show everyone's info
  • Alison Dehoney
  • Terra Dumas
  • Lauren Dawes
  • Matt Kauffman
  • Brendan Parker
  • Kelly Guevara

Research

Hypothesis:

This project has on-farm research in a demonstration function. We do not anticipate statistically valid experimental design. However, research activities and the milestones (below) they relate to will be reported in this section

Materials and methods:

2021 On-Farm Research Activities

Milestone 1 - Team members work with farmers to identify pest priorities and preferred management practices.

At Red Hook Farms and East New York Farms, we trialed Delphastus catalinae ladybeetles as a biocontrol for cabbage whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella), the most damaging pest of brassicas at both participating farms as well as many other farms and gardens in NYC. Delphastus is routinely used for control of other whitefly species in greenhouse settings, but we found no published research investigating Delphastus for control of cabbage whitefly.

At both farms, 150 to 300 Delphastus adults were released in selected locations within kale and collard plantings on July 1 and 15, under a section of row cover which the farmers removed 7 to 12 days later. Whitefly infestation levels were estimated on a 0 to 3 rating scale at the time of release, where 0 = no whitefly nymphs or adults present on leaf undersides and 3 = severe infestation and unmarketable leaves; ratings were taken throughout the planting, averaging the values of 6 leaves sampled at each location. Using a hand lens, 3 leaves at each sampling location were briefly scouted for presence of Delphastus adults or larvae.

  • Scouting on 7/15 and 8/18 showed slightly less whitefly pressure near areas of Delphastus release; at one farm, a rating of 1.5 near the release location versus 2 to 2.5 at the other locations sampled; at the other farm, 2 near release versus 2.5 at most other locations scouted.
  • Three Delphastus larvae were identified on collard leaves at one farm on September 23, including clear evidence of cabbage whitefly predation.

The presence of Delphastus larvae and evidence of cabbage whitefly predation, along with lessons learned about improving effectiveness of releasing Delphastus in outdoor settings and farmers’ stated interest in this biocontrol as an IPM strategy, suggest that we should expand on this trial in 2022.

At Edgemere Farm, pillbugs caused significant damage to radishes in spring, resulting in at least a 30% loss of marketable product. Other farms and gardens in NYC reported similar damage to radishes and hakurei turnips in May and June. Some research has indicated that pillbugs’ root-feeding activity is increased in higher pH soils; Edgemere, along with many other NYC urban agriculture soils, historically has a soil pH of 7 to 7.5. On October 6, soil samples were obtained from two rows which will be planted into radishes and/or hakurei turnips in spring 2022. Elemental sulfur (to lower pH) was then applied to one of the rows at a rate of 1.5 lbs per 100 square feet. Results will be collected in June 2022 in the form of soil tests to measure pH change and quantifying damage to radishes/turnips.

A light green Delphastus catalinae larva on a dark green collard leaf with orange droppings.
Delphastus catalinae larva identified on collard leaf at Red Hook Farms. The orange frass indicated predation of cabbage whitefly.

 

Milestone 5 - NYS urban farm managers, adult employees, and youth will improve their identification skills of pests that are frequently problems on urban farms. They will learn how to scout for pests, understand the concept of thresholds, and gain confidence in their ability to accurately identify pests.

An interesting development in this project is the severity of Swede Midege, an invasive insect pest of brassicas in the urban Buffalo farms. This has been an educational opportunity and here we dedicate an update on Swede Midge Scouting and Management plans for  2022:

#1 Common Roots – S. midge was causing so much damage to Brassica crops that these farmers cut out broccoli, brussels, cauliflower from their crop line-up entirely. In 2021 they rotated their brassica crops as far from the previous year’s planting as possible and covered everything with Proteknet exclusion netting. The netting had to be removed from crops (collards, kale) because the plants were getting too tall for their hoop set-up.  Still working through ID on the sticky cards to see how much pest pressure. Moving forward, they will continue to grow the less-preferred brassicas under exclusion netting.

 Note that collards and the Russian types of kale are in the more-preferred category.  Winterbor kales are less-preferred.   Make sure that transplants going under netting should be free of worm pests, and ground should be free of brassicas for at least 3 years. 

#2 Urban Fruits and Veggies – UFV has primarily grown collards, kale, mustard greens, kohlrabi. Collards have historically been the most effected. In 2020 they moved all brassicas to Providence Farm Collective (East Aurora) in order to get a marketable crop. In 2021, they brought collards back to the UFV site. Significant damage and larvae were observed early September. For 2022, focus brassica crops in raised beds that have not have brassicas for past 2-3 years and use Proteknet exclusion netting. They will also be starting up a second site across the City. 

 They can expect SM to emerge at UFV throughout May and June and somewhat into July.  So, they could start the spring plantings at the new site across the city and then come back to UFV for late-July/early-August brassica plantings.  It would be good to continue to set up pheromone traps at both sites to monitor SM populations.

#3 5 Loaves – S. midge damage on crops at 5 loaves in the past, but this past year (2021) was exceptional. 5 loaves has 4 lots spread across a couple of blocks. 2/4 lots have S.midge infested brassicas. One lot is not suited for brassica production (very shady). Move brassica production to the 4th (and newest) lot.

#4 Journey’s End – Journey’s end has had significant S. midge damage in the past. This year looks the same. Cabbages had been harvested but the remainder of the plants were still in the ground. Turns out, the farmer wanted to experiment and see what the plants would do. Unfortunately, those plants were infested and sitting right next to a new planting of collards and kale.  Experimental collards to be removed . The brussels sprouts are badly infested as well but they are hoping to get something from them. There are brassica crops in beds by themselves, planted by peas, in between tomatoes, etc.  H. bacteriophora nematodes can be used to control larval pests, including S. midge. Apply  to the beds to try and knock down the overwintering population.

Participation Summary
5 Farmers participating in research

Education

Educational approach:

On-farm Demonstration Trials:  We anticipate a total of 15 farms across NYC and Buffalo will host demonstration trials that implement non-chemical pest management strategies such as host resistance, release of natural enemies/biological control, pest exclusion, intercropping or companion planting, to name a few. Farms will be recruited via the relationships that project members have already established with growers in NYC and Buffalo. The on-farm trials will provide growers the opportunity to observe the benefits of pest management practices first-hand.  

Workshops: On-farm workshops will be held to facilitate peer to peer learning. We anticipate hosting or participating in 3 workshops per year (9 total over project period). Workshops will be predominantly held in NYC or Buffalo, with 2-3 workshops prioritized for another urban area, i.e. Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Binghamton, etc. Workshops will be advertised on the Cornell Vegetable Program page, Harvest NY page, social media accounts, and in other relevant newsletters. The project team will adapt meetings to a virtual format if needed.  Workshops will concentrate on topics like pest identification, scouting, cultural, mechanical, and biological controls, creating beneficial habitat for natural enemies, etc. Farms in Buffalo and NYC that host pest management trials will serve as locations for workshops. We estimate 10 farmers will attend each meeting. The project team will maintain a list of growers that attend workshops, and provide technical assistance to growers via email, phone call, or in-person visits, and/or through regular scouting.  Results will be made available to organizers of winter educational events (virtual or otherwise) such as the NOFA-NY Winter Conference, the NYC Urban Agriculture Symposium, or the Urban Food Systems Symposium.  

 

Rural Farm Tours: The project team will host a series of rural vegetable farm tours in order to expose urban growers to rural vegetable production, pest management on a larger scale in both organic and conventional settings, scouting, common equipment used to manage pests, and preferred management practices. Shared learning on common issues creates community building opportunities between urban and rural farmers, who may be separated not only by geography, but also cultural and racial differences. 

 

A ‘Sustainable Pest Management Guide for NE Urban Agriculture’ will be created as part of this project. Cities, including Buffalo and NYC are home to a large proportion of immigrants and refugees. In Buffalo Public Schools more than 83 languages are spoken, such as Spanish, Arabic, Karen, and Somali. To reduce barriers to accessing this knowledge, our guide will be translated into three foreign languages to-be-determined by engaged farmers. 

 

All growers that participate in workshops held during the duration of the project will receive a virtual or paper copy of the UA sustainable pest management manual once completed. The manual will be made available online as a pdf for download.  

 

Farm Visits: The project team will conduct 100 visits with urban farmers across NYS per year over the course of the project, totaling 300 by the end of the project. 

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

1) Urban farmers in Buffalo and NYC agree to implement on-farm sustainable pest management trials such as crop rotation, pest exclusion, resistant varieties, release of beneficial insects, etc. Activity: Project team members utilize existing relationships with urban growers in Buffalo and NYC to recruit 15 sites suitable for on-farm pest management demonstration trials. Team members work with farmers to identify pest priorities and preferred management practices. We anticipate approximately 5 farms per project year to reach this milestone, and will report annually on this progress.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
7
Proposed Completion Date:
February 29, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

In the first year of the project, progress toward this milestone included the recruitment of 3 farms in Buffalo and 2 in New York City to implement on-farm sustainable pest management trials including as crop rotation, pest exclusion and the release of beneficial insects. In Buffalo, Swede Midge and Striped Cucumber Beetle were identified by growers as priority pests. In New York City, Two Spotted Spider Mite and Cabbage Whitefly were major pests. Cabbage Whitefly in particular is of note as it is not a common pest in the Northeast, yet was the most prevalent pest on some NYC farms.

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

2) Urban farms across cities in NYS (Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, Troy, Binghamton, Syracuse, NYC, etc.) complete survey on the predominate pest issues, preferred pest management practices, perceived benefits, resources and information needed, etc. Activity: Project members craft survey and submit to 75 urban farms across NYS.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
50
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Proposed Completion Date:
March 1, 2022
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

Draft survey developed and under edits by team.

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

3) Urban farmers/managers/youth interns are exposed to rural vegetable production and pest management. They learn about the predominate pests in rural settings. Rural farmers learn from urban growers about their challenges in managing pests and provide advice on how pest controls could be adapted to urban settings. Activity: Urban farmers tour rural vegetable farms outside Western NY or NYC.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
30
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Proposed Completion Date:
October 31, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

This milestone has not been initiated yet. Activities are yet hampered by Covid pandemic.

Milestone #4 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

4) Service providers (CCE Educators, NRCS staff, other support agencies) gain knowledge on pest management practices that are effective on urban farms. Activity: service providers attend regional and statewide workshops, project staff meet with service providers one-on-one, service providers read online posts with project data, attend demonstration workshops at host farms.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Proposed Completion Date:
February 29, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

This milestone has not been initiated yet. Activities are yet hampered by Covid pandemic.

Milestone #5 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

5) NYS urban farm managers, adult employees, and youth learn about sustainable pest management. They will improve their identification skills of pests that are frequently problems on urban farms. They will learn how to scout for pests, understand the concept of thresholds, and gain confidence in their ability to accurately identify pests. Activity: Farmers attend regional and statewide workshops/conferences, participate in on-farm discussions, and attend on-farm workshops.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
150
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
4
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
2
Proposed Completion Date:
February 29, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

Four different events were held in 2021, 3 virtual and 1 in-person.  A total of 87 individuals were reached through these events.  The curriculum for these events was largely focused on beneficial insects; how to attract, rear, create habitat for them. The pests of concern were aphids, Two Spotted Spider Mite and Cabbage Whitefly.

Three IPM session planned for early 2022 in NYC, including special sessions on cabbage whitefly and twospotted spider mite.

 

Milestone #6 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

6) 100 Sustainable recommendations from service providers (CCE Educators, NRCS staff, other support agencies) to farmers on disease resistant varieties, crop rotation, purchasing and releasing biological controls, insect/disease identification, and so on. Activity: Service providers meet with farmers, consult with project staff, provide follow up visits to farms to verify successful implementation, provide data to project staff.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
25
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
87
Proposed Completion Date:
October 31, 2023
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #7 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

7) Northeast urban farm managers, adult employees, and youth will be exposed to sustainable pest management on urban farms and the corresponding economic and environmental benefits via on-line publications (VegEdge, Harvest NY newsletter), social media posts, email consultation, phone consultation, or on-farm visits.  

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
500
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
83
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
4
Proposed Completion Date:
February 29, 2024
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:
Program: Urban Agriculture
Event Type: Program Event - Community Outreach
Event Name: Recognizing and attracting natural enemies to urban farms and gardens
Date(s): 05/04/2021
Delivery Method: Webinar/on-line learning
Duration: 1.5
Number of Events: 1
Individuals Reached: 44
Program: Urban Agriculture
Event Type: Program Event - Community Outreach
Event Name: Basic Insect Rearing for Urban Ag IPM
Date(s): 09/30/2021
Delivery Method: Webinar/on-line learning
Duration: 1
Number of Events: 1
Individuals Reached: 17
Program: Fresh Market Vegetables
Event Type: Program Event - Community Outreach
Event Name: Pest Management for Urban Farmers
Date(s): 03/30/2021
Delivery Method: Demonstrations (i.e. demo gardens, on farms, etc)
Duration: 2
Number of Events: 1
Individuals Reached: 12
Program: Fresh Market Vegetables
Event Type: Program Event - Community Outreach
Event Name: Intro to IPM for Urban Vegetable Growers
Date(s): 03/26/2021
Delivery Method: Webinar/on-line learning
Duration: 2
Number of Events: 1
Individuals Reached: 14

 

 

 

People gathered at picnic tables for an education event.
Multiple translators at work in an Urban Pest Management workshop in Buffalo, NY.
Milestone #8 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Urban farmers/managers/youth interns are recruited to participate in rural vegetable production and pest management. They learn about the opportunity to learn from about pests in rural settings and agree to participate. Rural farmers are recruited to host and share pest management techniques, while agreeing to learn from urban growers about their challenges. Activity: Project team actively recruit urban farmers via farm visits and social media and these farms show an interest in a tour rural vegetable farms. [Future milestone 4, which leads to current milestone 3]

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
30
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
6
Proposed Completion Date:
May 31, 2022
Status:
In Progress
Milestone #9 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Service providers (CCE Educators, NRCS staff, other support agencies) are recruited and agree to gain knowledge on pest management practices that are effective on urban farms. Activity: Project team reaches out in person, via zoom and with social media to service providers, attracting them to attend regional and statewide workshops highlighting project methods and results; they agree. [Future milestone 6 which will lead to future miles 5 (which is current milestone 4)].

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
15
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
20
Proposed Completion Date:
October 31, 2023
Status:
In Progress

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities:

6 On-farm demonstrations

Learning Outcomes

4 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
Key areas in which farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and/or awareness:
  • Commons Roots Urban Farm
    1. Farm Overview – Common Roots is a one acre urban farm in the City of Buffalo, owned and managed by Terra Dumas and Josh Poodry,  producing diversified vegetables, fruit, flowers, and honey.
    2. The pest: Cucumber Beetles, squash and cucumber.
    3. Practice: Insect exclusion netting on their caterpillar tunnel for exclusion of cucumber beetles on squash and cucumbers. Product Ordered: ProtekNet Exclusion Netting, FIINTE3, 2x50-47 (Dubois Agrinovation)
    4. Observations: Insect exclusion netting was applied prior to cucumber beetle emergence. The netting appeared to provide sufficient protection of squash and cucumber plants from cucumber beetles. However, the cucumber plants did suffer from lack of pollination due to 1) not being a parthenocarpic variety and 2) the exclusion netting further inhibited pollinators from entering the tunnel. To remedy this, Common Roots moved frames of bees into the tunnel. Pollination thereafter seemed adequate but noticeably less. TSSM damage was significant in the latter part of the season.
  • Journey’s End
    1. Farm Overview: The Green Shoots for New Americans Program at Journey’s End Refugee Services facilitates urban farming opportunities on Buffalo’s East Side. They grow numerous culturally important vegetables from participants originating from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and more.
    2. The problem: Swede Midge on late Fall 2021 brassica planting. Intercropping is a common practice at the Green Shoots for New Americans farm at Journey’s End. Intercropping is done to 1) maximize use of raised bed space 2) for support of beneficial insects and 3) to receive benefits from companion planting. However, intercropping makes crop rotation difficult when each raised bed may contain crops from different families. Swede midge (SPP) has built up on brassica crops in numerous raised beds across the farm. We are recommending an integrated approach – remove late season brassica crop residue and discard, apply bacteriophora entomopathogenic nematodes to the soil in Fall 2021. These entomopathogenic nematodes will feed on a diverse range of soil dwelling pests, including Swede Midge. An application in the Fall of 2021, followed by an additional application in Spring of 2022 and a later planting of Brassica crops will hopefully bring Swede Midge damage below the economic threshold.

2021-22 Recommendations: H. bacteriophora nematodes were purchased from Arbico Organics. Nematodes were watered in with a pump sprayer to raised beds. Raised beds were pre-wetted to allow better survival and movement of nematodes through the soil profile.

  • 5 Loaves Urban Farm
    1. Farm Overview: 5 Loaves Farm is an urban farm ministry connected to the Buffalo Vineyards Church. They farm on 4 separate lots on the West Side of Buffalo. They grow a diversity of vegetables, fruits, herbs; they keep chickens and bees; and create numerous value-added products.
    2. The problem: Swede Midge, brassicas. 5 Loaves was noted to have Swede Midge damage on their brassicas in mid-Summer 2021. Damage was quite extension on kale, collards, broccoli, and cauliflower. Swede Midge damage was found on 2/2 lots that brassicas were grown on. Brassicas are grown under row cover, but the fabric is torn in numerous areas. In mid-Summer 2021, we began monitoring the population of Swede Midge on the main lot. Swede Midge pheromone traps were collected on a biweekly basis for 2 months – 7/30, 8/12, 8/28, 9/8
    3. 2022 Recommendations: rotate away from brassicas where possible. Prioritize brassicas on the most recently acquired lot. Cover with insect exclusion netting.
  • Urban Fruits and Veggies
    1. Farm Overview: Urban Fruits and Veggies is an urban farm on the East Side of Buffalo growing on ¼ acre in raised beds and one high tunnel. They focus on mixed vegetable and herb production with plans to expand to hydroponic vegetable and fruit production at their second site.
    2. The problem: aphids, pepper plants and brassicas. Aphid populations quickly built up on pepper and brassica transplants in the high tunnel prior to planting outside. We recommended an augmentative release to bring the population below the economic threshold.
    3. Practice: augmentative biocontrol – ladybeetles (SPP) and lacewing larvae (SPP) were purchase from Arbico Organics.

 

 

    1. Common Roots farm sign, with vegetable beds and greenhouse in background.
      Figure 1. Common Roots Urban Farm, host of our exclusion demonstration.
      A tunnel with polyethylene and insect screening
      Figure 2. Common Roots caterpillar tunnel with insect exclusion in place for cucumber beetle protection.
      Lettuce and sweet corn beds in front of a high tunnel.
      Figure 3. Journey's End urban farm, where Swede Midge became an important pest.
      Close up of a Swede Midge
      Figure 4. A Swede Midge adult under 20X microscope.
      A table that shows multiple Swede Midge scouting data at two urban farms.
      Figure 5. As a part of this project we scouted Swede Midge at two urban farms. This data will influence our work in year 2 of the project.
      Multiple Cabbage Aphids on a leaf
      Figure 6. Cabbage Aphids under magnification from a cooperating farm in Buffalo.
      A handheld bottle of Green Lacewing Larvae
      Figure 7. At a cooperating urban farm in Buffalo we release Green Lacewing Larvae to control aphid outbreaks.

 

Performance Target Outcomes

Target #1

Target: number of farmers:
15
Target: change/adoption:

Urban farmers in Buffalo and NYC will implement sustainable pest management practices.

Target: amount of production affected:

15 urban farm on at least 4 acres total.

Target: quantified benefit(s):

Farms will see an increase in revenue of $2000/acre; and/or report quantifiable improved success in their social missions such as number of youths gaining pest management skills.

Performance Target Outcome Narrative:

In progress

Participants

No participants
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.