Promoting Apple IPM Implementation in Eastern New York Orchards by Expansion of the Northeast Weather Association (NEWA)

Final Report for ONE04-017

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2004: $9,841.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Grant Recipient: Cornell University
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Juliet Carroll
Cornell University
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Project Information

Summary:

Integrated pest management (IPM) practices require apple growers to use weather information and pest forecast models. The Network for Environment and Weather Awareness (NEWA), previously called the Northeast Weather Association, can provide both for free, fostering IPM implementation, environmental conservation, and land stewardship. NEWA-connected weather stations were previously unavailable to Eastern NY growers. Five Eastern NY growers purchased or upgraded weather stations, connected to NEWA, and served as grower educators to promote apple IPM implementation in their region as part of this project. In this demonstration project the cooperating growers learned how to use NEWA weather data, interpreted pest forecast models, and monitored insect traps to obtain and share biofix information. The project was evaluated through feedback during the growing season and grower satisfaction with NEWA. The outreach plan targeted other apple growers in Eastern NY who can benefit from the expansion of NEWA into Eastern NY. Outreach delivered in extension newsletters, emails and meetings provided information on accessing NEWA and its pest forecast model predictions. Because apple IPM practices require the use of pest forecast models and not every grower has a weather station, the advantages of the NEWA system’s instantaneous outreach potential to all growers in the Eastern NY region are considerable.

Introduction:

The importance of the apple crop in New York is significant, being the second largest producer of apples in the USA, having a market value of $102 million in 2002. In Eastern NY, there are 175 fruit farms on which 13,000 acres of apples are grown. This project partners with five Eastern NY growers of over 1,200 acres of apples to expand NEWA, the Network for Environment and Weather Awareness, with the potential to reach all 13,000 acres of apples in the region. The NEWA weather data and pest forecast models generated in Eastern NY that are available via the Internet are applicable to all growers throughout Eastern NY, as well as adjacent areas of VT, MA, CT and Quebec. Before this project was undertaken, NEWA did not reach into the apple-growing regions in Eastern New York. This is critical because, to conduct IPM, apple growers use weather information and pest forecast models. NEWA can provide both for free, fostering IPM implementation, environmental conservation, and land stewardship.

The insects and diseases of apples for which forecast models are delivered via NEWA include eight major direct and indirect pests. Apple IPM practices require the use of pest forecast models for codling moth, obliquebanded leafroller, oriental fruit moth, plum curculio, San Jose scale, spotted tentiform leafminer, fire blight, and apple scab, all of which can be delivered via NEWA to enhance environmental stewardship and risk management by growers and their advisors. Apple pesticide programs are targeted specifically to manage these pests and implementing NEWA pest forecast models will improve risk management by optimizing and minimizing pesticide inputs. The project to expand NEWA was undertaken to enhance the ability of apple growers to conduct IPM and for Coperative Extension Educators to deliver timely IPM pest forecast information to growers in the region since the weather information collected via NEWA is freely shared via the Internet.

Beyond just benefitting the apple industry, NEWA weather data and pest forecast models benefit other commodities being grown in the regions that NEWA covers. This project will benefit the NEWA system directly by modernizing and updating the current network and web-delivery systems. In addition, this project was enhanced by securing an additional grant from the NE Regional IPM Critical Steps program, allowing an additional four apple growers to participate, in essence doubling the size of the NEWA network in Eastern NY and the outcomes of the project.

Project Objectives:

1. Successfully expand NEWA into Eastern NY while supporting the commitment and cooperation of the collaborating apple growers.

2. Educate the collaborating apple growers about NEWA and pest forecast models. Obtain and post pest model biofix dates, based on grower use of insect pheromone traps and phenological observations.

3. Inform other Eastern NY apple growers about the availability of apple pest forecast models via NEWA.

4. Analyze change in IPM practice.

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • James Abruzzese
  • Kevin Bowman
  • Derrick Doubrava
  • Michael Fargione
  • David Fraleigh
  • Donald Green, III
  • Kevin Iungerman

Research

Materials and methods:

OBJECTIVE 1. Successfully expand NEWA into Eastern NY while supporting the commitment and cooperation of the collaborating apple growers.

Carroll and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Educators for fruit in Eastern NY, Michael Fargione and Kevin Iungerman, recruited five apple growers interested in placing weather stations on their farms. Weather stations and associated equipment to connect to NEWA were purchased by the growers and placed on their farms in Eastern NY. The weather stations, phone and computer connections were installed and began transmitting data to NEWA, as listed below:
Clifton Park (Saratoga County) April 2004
Clintondale (Ulster County) September 2004
Chazy (Clinton County) October 2004
Red Hook (Dutchess County) April 2005
Guilderland (Albany County) January 2007
Three types of weather stations were utilized in this project: the Sensatronics Weather Monitor, the RainWise Monopod, and the RainWise MKIII. The NEWA system was developed using Sensatronics Weather Monitors, but, in the first year of the project, the company informed NEWA they would no longer manufacture these. Carroll and NEWA staff, John Gibbons and Cheryl Ten Eyck, worked with RainWise, Inc. to identify and field test an appropriate weather station for the network as part of this project.

Once installed, the weather stations, modems and phone lines or Internet-based delivery software were configured to automatically deliver data daily to NEWA. Growers were shown how to troubleshoot and care for their weather station and were provided with NEWA emergency contact information in case of problems so that their NEWA-archived weather data could be preserved. Problems with the weather stations were reported and corrective actions taken. NEWA web pages for each of the weather stations were set up on the NEWA server. Links to the weather data from these weather stations were posted on the NEWA website and the data was sent through all the pest forecast models that run in the NEWA system, i.e. those for apple as well as for other crops.

Two additional grants were funded to expand the scope of this project and are listed below.

Carroll. 2004-2007. Promoting Apple IPM Implementation in Eastern New York Orchards by Expansion of the Northeast Weather Association System. $15,000. NE Regional IPM Critical Steps Program.

Carroll. 2005-2006. Impact of the NYS IPM Program’s Network for Environment & Weather Awareness (NEWA) on Agricultural Production. $12,000. NYS IPM Special Projects Program.

OBJECTIVE 2. Educate the collaborating apple growers about NEWA and pest forecast models. Obtain and post pest model biofix dates, based on grower use of insect pheromone traps and phenological observations.

In one-on-one meetings, collaborating growers were informed about the NEWA website. Navigation to pages containing information of greatest interest for their orchards was demonstrated to them. Each grower was made aware of the link for their weather station on the NEWA Home Page (http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/default.htm.)

To obtain pest model biofix information, Carroll supplied each grower-cooperator with traps and pheromone lures for codling moth, oriental fruit moth and lesser apple worm, obliquebanded leafroller, and spotted tentiform leafminer. Written information covering the use of the traps, lures, and the collection and reporting of biofix dates was provided with the traps. In addition, biofix information based on apple tree phenology was collected with the help of Cathy Heidenreich, Department of Plant Pathology. Biofix information was collected for 2004-2006. In 2005 and 2006, at the request of two of the grower cooperators, the apple biofix information was shared with other growers on the NYS IPM Program website and linked to the NEWA websites.

In concert with the new weather stations being connected to NEWA in Eastern NY, Carroll made improvements to the apple pest model pages in NEWA and revised the NEWA Apple Home Page (http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/apple_home.htm) to allow for easier navigation to the pest forecast models. Under the NE IPM grant three new weather utilities were programmed for the NEWA website, the Spectrum Compatible Data converter which allows users to run NEWA weather data through SpecWare pest model software at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/nysaesQuery.html, the Degree Day Calculator at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/newa/, and the Apple Pest Degree Day Calculator at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/newa/appledd.php.

OBJECTIVE 3. Inform other Eastern NY apple growers about the availability of apple pest forecast models via NEWA.

Thirteen presentations were given over the course of this project to inform both apple growers and fruit extension personnel in New York, Eastern USA and Eastern Canada about the NEWA system, the Eastern NY project, and how to access NEWA information. Ten articles and websites were published for research, extension, and farmer audiences. These are listed in the Publications/Outreach section of this report. Currently we are assessing, via a phone survey, the impact of NEWA and we hope to determine the extent of usage of NEWA across NY.

Once the RainWise MKIII weather stations became available, information about purchasing them and connecting them to NEWA was sent out to all fruit and vegetable Extension Educators via list serves in order to inform other growers about obtaining a NEWA-connected weather station.

OBJECTIVE 4. Analyze change in IPM practice.

All participating growers monitored traps to obtain biofix information of relevance to the pest complex on their farm. Feedback from grower cooperators was used to improve the NEWA system and delivery of pest model information. Participating growers learned how to use NEWA and interpret weather data and pest forecast models.

Research results and discussion:

OBJECTIVE 1. Successfully expand NEWA into Eastern NY while supporting the commitment and cooperation of the collaborating apple growers.

The target of this project was for four apple growers to install NEWA-connected weather stations and we exceeded our target, installing five in Eastern NY. The milestones of this project were essentially doubled by the grant from the NE Regional IPM Program because it provided for the participation of an additional four apple growers. Under this NE SARE project the following five apple growers now have weather stations connected to NEWA:
Derrick Doubrava, Minard Farms, Clintondale, RainWise MKIII SP2
David Fraleigh, Rose Hill Farm, Red Hook, RainWise Monopod
Donald Green III, Chazy Orchards, Inc., Chazy, RainWise Monopod
Kevin Bowman, Bowman Orchards, Clifton Park, Sensatronics Weather Monitor
James Abruzzese, Altamont Orchards, Guilderland, RainWise MKIII SP1
Through the NEWA system these growers are able to share their weather data with other growers via the Internet.

Initial attempts using RainWise Monopod units met with limited success. Difficulties encountered with the Monopod weather stations forced troubleshooting and de-bugging at the Chazy, Clintondale and Red Hook sites. RainWise developed a standardized MKIII model, customized to include leaf wetness and solar radiation sensors that are essential to run disease and evapotranspiration models. The Clintondale station was ultimately replaced with an MKIII SP2 station in December 2006. Through this was achieved a crucial impact: the sourcing of a new weather station, the RainWise MKIII, with the resulting outcome of positively positioning NEWA for future expansion.

In addition, RainWise created software to deliver data from the MKIII units to both the farm’s computer and the NEWA network, providing either modem- or Internet-delivery of weather data to the NEWA server. The RainWise MKIII units transmit data via radio wave and eliminate the need for a phone line connection at the weather station and the associated electrical storm risks, a huge benefit for future growth of the NEWA mesonet.

OBJECTIVE 2. Educate the collaborating apple growers about NEWA and pest forecast models. Obtain and post pest model biofix dates, based on grower use of insect pheromone traps and phenological observations.

Each growers weather station was assigned a web page in NEWA. The url’s for each weather station installed under this grant are given below:
Chazy http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/chazy.htm Clifton Park http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/clifton.htm Clintondale http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/clnton.htm Guilderland http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/guilderl.htm
Red Hook http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/redhook.htm
The pest forecast model web pages in NEWA of most interest to growers were on apple scab, fire blight, and internal-feeding insect pests and included the apple scab ascospore maturity degree-day model and modified Mills Table, Cougarblight for fire blight, and the degree-day models for insect pests.

Four of the five growers learned how to obtain and use the appropriate biofix date for each pest forecast model, including monitoring pheromone trap catches at critical times, and interpreting pest forecast models for improved IPM decisions. The fifth grower will begin to collect biofix information in 2007. The biofix information provided by the growers included the following:
apple scab, 50 percent green tip on McIntosh
fire blight, full pink or first blossom open
codling moth, first sustained trap catch
oriental fruit moth, first sustained trap catch
obliquebanded leafroller 1st summer generation, first sustained trap catch
plum curculio, petal fall
spotted tentiform leafminer 2nd generation, first sustained trap catch

During the 2006 and 2007 growing seasons, Carroll combined all collected biofix information from this project with that from other Extension Educators and faculty across NY for a total of 17 sites. The resulting Apple Pest Biofix Table (http://nysipm.cornell.edu/fruits/AppleBiofix.pdf) was updated with new information as it was obtained.

OBJECTIVE 3. Inform other Eastern NY apple growers about the availability of apple pest forecast models via NEWA.

Although we had planned on grower cooperators serving as educators for their regions at summer tours, winter meetings, and informal gatherings, the project did not progress to this point due to the technical difficulties encountered identifying a replacement weather station for the network. To their credit, all grower cooperators stayed in the project despite this.

The Eastern NY NEWA weather information and associated pest forecast model outputs were, and continue to be, directly disseminated to other growers via the NEWA website. Any grower can access the NEWA Eastern NY weather data via the newly created websites described under Objective 2, above, including the new weather station pages, the updated NEWA Apple Home Page, the Apple Pest Biofix Table, the Apple Pest Degree Day Calculator, etc.

As a direct result of presentations given by Carroll about NEWA and its expansion into Eastern NY, growers in Vermont, Quebec, and Central NY have expressed interest in obtaining weather stations. These presentations also helped recruit the four growers, in Peru, NY, Crown Point, NY, Marlboro, NY, and Hudson, NY, funded under the NE IPM grant. In addition, Extension personnel in New England have expressed interest in connecting to the NEWA system.

OBJECTIVE 4. Analyze change in IPM practice.

Participating growers learned how to use NEWA and interpret weather data and pest forecast models, but additional work is needed to help them integrate weather data with scouting and monitoring in order to maximize their IPM practices. The technical difficulties on this project prevented us from fully achieving the farm-specific IPM components of this project. Growers will be provided with traps to collect biofix data again in 2007 and, without the distraction of troubleshooting weather instruments, it will be possible to focus on IPM practice in future years.

Research conclusions:
Impact of Results/Outcomes

This NE SARE project has made it possible to expand the NEWA system into Eastern NY, providing farmers in that region with timely weather information to inform IPM and crop production decisions on their farms. The apple growers who collaborated are willing to continuously share their weather information which will significantly benefit farmers who grow not only apples, but onions, potatoes, grapes, and other crops in the region.

A crucial impact from this project was the sourcing of a new weather instrument, the RainWise MKIII, with the resulting outcome of positively positioning NEWA for future expansion. The RainWise MKIII units transmit data via radio wave and eliminate the need for a phone line connection at the weather station and the associated electrical storm risks, a huge benefit for future growth of the NEWA mesonet.

Because the growers were willing to collect and report biofix information, this can be shared across the apple-growing regions of NY. The resulting Apple Pest Biofix Table presents information from 17 sites across NY and is available on the NYS IPM website posted at http://nysipm.cornell.edu/fruits/AppleBiofix.pdf. This biofix information is essential for starting the pest forecast model outputs.

Participation Summary

Education & Outreach Activities and Participation Summary

Participation Summary:

Education/outreach description:

Publications and presentations about NEWA are listed below. The most effective communications to growers about NEWA were those that occurred during summer fruit tours and winter fruit schools. Extension faculty and educators informed about the availability of NEWA pest forecast models and weather data fostered a multiplier effect.

PUBLICATIONS and WEBSITES
Gibbons, J., Carroll, J., TenEyck, C., Petzoldt, C.P. and Weigle, T. 2007. NEWA (Network for Environment and Weather Awareness) 2006: A Year in Review. In: 2006 New York State Fruit Project Reports Relating to IPM. Cornell Univ., Cornell Coop. Ext., NYS IPM Publication (in press).

Carroll, J., Fargione, M. and Iungerman, K. 2006. Delivering weather-related information to apple growers via the NYS IPM Program’s NEWA system. 5th National Integrated Pest Management Symposium, St. Louis, MO. http://www.ipmcenters.org/IPMsymposiumV/posters/006.pdf

Gibbons, J., Carroll, J., TenEyck, C., Petzoldt, C.P. and Weigle, T. 2006. NEWA (Network for Environment and Weather Awareness) 2005: A Year in Review. In: Annual Report 2005-2006, New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Agriculture and Community IPM, Cornell Coop. Ext., NYS IPM Publication No. 503, pp 136-140.

Carroll, J.E. 2005. NEWA – IPM’s Network for Environment & Weather Awareness. http://nysipm.cornell.edu/newa/.

Carroll, J.E. and Nelson, P.J. 2005. NEWA Degree Day Calculator. http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/newa/.

Carroll, J.E., Nelson, P.J., Agnello, A.M. and Reissig, W.H. 2005. NEWA Apple Pest Degree Day Calculator. http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/newa/appledd.php.

Gibbons, J., Carroll, J., TenEyck, C., Petzoldt, C.P. and Weigle, T. 2005. NEWA (Northeast Weather Association) 2004: A Year in Review. In: Annual Report 2004-2005, The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Agriculture and Community IPM, Cornell University. 6 pp. http://nysipm.cornell.edu/reports/ann_rpt/AR05/projects/gibbons.pdf.

Carroll, J.E. and Han, Y. 2004. Converting NEWA weather data to Specware® compatible format. http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/ipm/specware/nysaesQuery.html.

Carroll, J.E. 2004. Welcome to the NEWA Apple Home Page. http://newa.nysaes.cornell.edu/apple_home.htm.

Turechek, W.W. and Carroll, J.E. 2003. Passing Fungal Systems: Probability of Scab Infections Resulting From Intermittent Wetting Periods. Scaffolds 12 (7): 3-4.

PRESENTATIONS by J.E. Carroll
Utilizing NEWA Weather Information for Informed IPM Intervention, 24-Oct-06, Fruit Pest Management Meeting, Burlington, VT

Delivering Weather-Related IPM Information To Fruit Growers Via The NYS IPM Program's NEWA System, 4-Apr-06, National IPM Symposium, St. Louis, MO

Utilizing NEWA Information for Informed IPM Intervention, 7-Mar-06, NE NY Fruit School, Lake George, NY

Utilizing NEWA Information to Inform IPM Intervention, 22-Feb-06, Hudson Valley Fruit School, Kingston, NY

NEWA - New York's Network for Environment & Weather Awareness, 17-Oct-05, Weather & IPM Conference; East Lansing, MI

NEWA-IPM's Network of Weather Stations, 20-Jul-05, Summer Tour, NYSAES, Geneva, NY

Apple Forecasts on NEWA, 27-May-04, Apple Petal Fall Meeting, Appleton, NY

NEWA Weather & Apple Forecasting Project, 18-May-04, Apple Petal Fall Meeting, Clifton Park, NY

Weather Data Monitoring Equipment For Growers, 31-Jul-03, Lake Ontario CCE Summer Fruit Tour

Tracking & Predicting Crop Protection, 27-Feb-03, Northeastern NY CCE Winter Meeting, Lake George, NY

Tracking & Predicting Crop Protection, 26-Feb-03, Hudson Valley CCE Winter Meeting, Kingston, NY

Tracking & Predicting Crop Protection, 21-Jan-03, Lake Ontario CCE Winter Fruit School, Newark, NY

Tracking & Predicting Crop Protection, 20-Jan-03, Lake Ontario CCE Winter Fruit School, Albion, NY

Project Outcomes

Assessment of Project Approach and Areas of Further Study:

Areas needing additional study

Future Directions and Collaborations

NEWA is embarking on a collaboration with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. NEWA weather data will go into their database system, making it possible to significantly expand the weather and pest forecast model utilities offered by NEWA and automate weather data quality control. Carroll will seek funding to support the collaboration with NRCC.

A website plan was drawn up for NEWA by Spider Graphics, Ithaca, NY and a NEWA Web Advisory Committee formed by Carroll. Needed redesign for the NEWA website to improve navigation, delivery of weather information, and interpretation of pest model output will be based on this plan and build on the collaboration with NRCC. Carroll will seek funding to support NEWA website re-design.

Carroll is collaborating with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) in the Finger Lakes region to bring weather stations to 16 vineyards and orchards in the watershed to improve IPM practice and reduce non-point-source pollution to the watershed. Carroll will collaborate on sourcing funding to support SWCD-fostered expansion of NEWA.

Results from a phone survey on NEWA, being conducted by the Survey Research Institute, Cornell University, will be available at the end of February 2007. These survey results will provide guidance for the NYS IPM Program on the impact and future directions of the NEWA system.

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.