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

2005 Annual 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

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


Integrated pest management (IPM) practices require apple growers to use weather information and pest forecast models. The Northeast Weather Association (NEWA) can provide both for free, fostering IPM implementation, environmental conservation, and land stewardship. But NEWA is unavailable in Eastern NY. Four Eastern NY growers are committed to purchasing weather stations, connecting to NEWA, and serving as grower educators to promote IPM implementation and the sustainability of apple production in their region. In this demonstration project the cooperating growers will learn to use NEWA, source weather data, interpret weather data and pest forecast models, and integrate weather data with scouting and monitoring to improve IPM practices. The project will be evaluated through feedback during the growing season, grower satisfaction with NEWA, and analysis of IPM practice implementation, spray data and yield evaluations. The outreach plan will target other apple growers in Eastern NY who will benefit from the expansion of NEWA into Eastern NY. Outreach delivered in extension newsletters, emails and meetings will provide information on accessing NEWA and include interpretation of the NEWA-based pest forecast model predictions to promote IPM implementation. 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 Eastern NY are considerable.

Objectives/Performance Targets

This demonstration project will focus on methods to successfully expand NEWA into Eastern NY while supporting the commitment and cooperation of the four apple growers who will purchase weather stations and serve as grower educators. Growers will learn how to use NEWA, source weather data, interpret weather data and pest forecast models, and integrate weather data with scouting and monitoring to improve IPM practices. The project will be evaluated through feedback during the growing season, grower satisfaction with the NEWA system, and analysis of IPM practice implementation, spray data and yield evaluations.

Weather stations and associated equipment will be purchased by the growers and placed in their four orchards in Clinton, Saratoga, Ulster and Dutchess counties in Eastern NY. Weather stations, modems and phone lines will be configured to automatically deliver data daily to NEWA. Growers will learn how to protect the weather station from lightening and basic weather station troubleshooting skills so, if, for example, a bird builds a nest in the rain gauge, the growers can fix the problem and contact NEWA so the archived weather data can be corrected.

The navigation and use of the NEWA website will be demonstrated to each grower. Growers will learn how to use the IPM pest forecast models, including the apple scab ascospore maturity degree-day model and modified Mills Table, MARYBLIGHT and Cougarblight for fire blight, and the degree-day models for insect pests. Growers will also learn 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.

On average, growers will spend 3 hours per week accessing NEWA and the pest forecast models, depending on the adversity of the weather, crop phenology, and pest pressure. Growers will be contacted approximately once per week by phone or email to support and assist them with IPM implementation from the NEWA pest forecast models. Problems with the weather stations will be reported to the NYS IPM Program and corrective actions taken. Orchard visits will be conducted monthly during the growing season to assess IPM implementation strategies, troubleshoot equipment, and receive feedback on NEWA pest model delivery on the website.

Eastern New York apple growers will be informed about the availability of NEWA apple pest forecast models through extension newsletters. Fargione and Iungerman will publish NEWA pest forecast model predictions in their extension newsletters and pest alerts. Other growers wanting to purchase a weather station to connect to NEWA will be informed of how to achieve this. Grower cooperators will serve as educators for their regions at summer tours, winter meetings, and informal gatherings.

Information on other sources of weather data, weather stations and instruments will be collated and made available to interested growers so they are able to decide what best suits their needs. Feedback from grower cooperators will be used to improve the NEWA system. Growers will be interviewed to determine their level of satisfaction with and use of NEWA and whether they benefited from NEWA. At the end of the growing season growers’ IPM practices will be compared to the prior year to determine the level of benefit derived from using NEWA. Data will be analyzed and reports published and presented at meetings.


We have successfully installed and connected to 4 weather stations in Eastern New York. These are Clifton Park(Saratoga county), Clintondale(Ulster county), Chazy (Clinton county) and Red Hook (Dutchess county). All are accessible from the NEWA website. Technical difficulties were encountered with three of these weather stations, manufactured by RainWise Inc., which were new to the NEWA system. This prevented greater progress on the IPM components of the project.

Given the difficulties encountered with the industrial weather stations built by RainWise, we worked with them in 2005 to both overcome these for the Clintondale, Chazy and Red Hook weather stations and to create a standardized consumer line that included leaf wetness and solar radiation sensors. In addition they have created software to effectively interface with the NEWA network. We are now at the stage of deploying their MKIII models complete with automated Internet-based delivery of data, nullifying the need for a phone line connected to the weather station and the associated electrical storm risks and daily modem-call phone charges.

One weather station, Clifton Park, was installed in early in 2004, allowing growing season trap-based monitoring of insect pests and associated pest forecast models on NEWA in both 2004 and 2005. The grower, Kevin Bowman, Bowman Orchards, monitored traps for Oriental fruit moth and codling moth and utilized the NEWA pest forecast models and weather data from his weather station directly from the NEWA web site in both seasons. The three other growers, Donald Green III, Derrick Doubrava, and David Fraleigh monitored traps and crop phenology in 2005.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Kevin Bowman, Bowman Orchards, Clifton Park, has been using NEWA since April 2004 when his weather station was hooked up. He accessed it online every day until harvests started. He really likes NEWA; especially how he can access weather data from his desk on a rainy day. His primary uses have been for apple scab and apple maggot.

Trap catch and apple phenology information from the growers on this project was used to develop a table in which to post online relevant biofix information for apple IPM. This project fostered the development of grower interest in sharing biofix information across New York and we therefore expanded the collating of biofix data into the Lake Ontario apple-growing region. We will be able to focus more on apple IPM outcomes this growing season now that the weather stations are in place and sending data daily to NEWA.

The development of RainWise MKIII weather stations that are applicable to the agricultural industry and compatible with the NEWA system was a breakthrough in 2005 and 2006. We will now be able to confidently expand the NEWA system in Eastern NY and in other regions of NY. Following a presentation at the Winter Fruit School in Northeastern NY, a Vermont apple grower contacted us indicating interest in connecting to the NEWA system and information on weather stations was sent to him. We are now also in a strong position to source five additional apple growers in Eastern NY to connect to NEWA as part of a complimentary grant.


James Abruzzese
apple grower
Altamont Orchards, Inc.
6654 Dunnsville Rd
Altamont, NY 12009
Office Phone: 5188616515
David Fraleigh
apple grower
Fraleigh's Rose Hill Farm
19 Rose Hill Farm Rd.
Red Hook, NY 12571
Office Phone: 8457584215
Kevin Bowman
apple grower
Bowman Orchards
141 Sugar Hill Rd.
Rexford, NY 12148
Office Phone: 5183712042
Donald Green, III
apple grower
Chazy Orchards, Inc.
9486 Rt. 9
Chazy, NY 12921
Office Phone: 5188467171
Derrick Doubrava
apple grower
Minard Farms
P.O. Box 317
Clintondale, NY 12515
Office Phone: 8458837102
Kevin Iungerman
Cooperative Extension Area Specialist
Northeastern NY Regional Fruit Program
Cornell Cooperative Extension
50 West High St.
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Office Phone: 5188858995
Michael Fargione
Senior Extension Resource Educator
Ulster County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Hudson Valley Laboratory
P.O. Box 727, 3357 Rt 9W
Highland, NY 12528
Office Phone: 8456917117