New Hampshire IPM Report, 2019

NEERA meeting: May 1, 2019, College Park, MD

University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Extension (UNHCE) IPM Team: Alan Eaton, George Hamilton, Cheryl Smith, Rachel Maccini & Anna Wallingford

New Hampshire’s IPM Program has three target audiences:

1) Fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse industries receive the majority of our program’s attention. UNHCE addresses a diversity of situations through one-on-one interactions, grower meetings & workshops, plant diagnostic center & arthropod pest identification services, sprayer calibration support & education, contribution to New England’s pest management guides, a weekly-recorded telephone message, and regular email alerts.

Apple IPM. Orchardists use UNHCE services and UNH-supported weather monitoring tools to manage pest insects, mites, and plant diseases using the most economically and environmentally sound practices possible. Key pests are apple scab, fire blight, plum curculio, and apple maggot. Annual apple evaluations conducted for more than 25 years in the state find pest injury to fruit at steady levels. Damage due to wildlife is a growing concern, which has required facilitation of meetings with apple growers, state agencies, and other stakeholders by members of UNHCE. Concerns regarding the loss of chlorpyrifos, pollinator health, and increasing numbers of brown marmorated stink bug (detected by our regional monitoring network) are shaping the future goals of UNHCE’s Apple IPM program.

Small fruit IPM. Cultural management tactics for managing spotted wing drosophila (SWD) are emphasized at small fruit grower meetings and pruning workshops. Online surveys conducted in 2014 and 2015 found that more growers were pruning raspberry and blueberry, practicing better sanitation practices, and the majority self-reported decreases in SWD infestation.

Vegetable IPM. UNHCE maintains a regional trapping network for several key and emerging pest insects for our largest vegetable commodities in the state. For example:

  • Sweet corn pests, including European corn borer, corn earworm, fall armyworm, and western bean cutworm are monitored at 20+ farms annually. Weekly trap numbers shared with participating farmers and posted online by town. In 2017, participating growers reduced chemical pesticide applications to sweet corn by an average of 2.77 sprays and improved yield (decreased cull rate) by roughly 11% in 2016. Savings on pesticide and labor plus improved yield increased annual income by $236,096.
  • Squash vine borer, key pest of pumpkin/squash, are monitored at 15+ farms annually. Weekly trap numbers shared with participating farmers and posted online by town. In 2017, participating growers reduced chemical pesticide applications to squash/pumpkin crops by an average of 2.77 sprays with no change in plant losses due to squash vine borer in 2016. This resulted in an annual savings on pesticide and labor of $33,883.

Greenhouse IPM. Survey results conducted during greenhouse IPM workshops in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont found a growing trend on reliance on biological controls compared to previous workshops, which will shape our educational efforts in protected culture. Cyclamen mite is a growing concern in many ornamental crops as well as strawberry.

2) Public Health IPM: anyone residing or visiting New Hampshire is our target audience. New Hampshire has the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the US, and ranks in the top ten states in EEE, Babesiosis and Anaplasmosis.

Members of UNHCE participate in public outreach education, including public lectures, interviews with print, broadcast & digital media, providing displays & handouts at public events, in order to promote awareness of arthropod-vectored diseases and how to reduce risk of exposure by avoiding high risk areas and by using repellents.

Dr. Eaton served on New Hampshire’s arbovirus task force, took part in preparing New Hampshire’s tick-borne disease management plan, and has supported regional monitoring & research objectives by sampling tick populations, submitting ticks for pathogen testing.

3) Community IPM: backyard gardeners and urban residents are key audiences, but any resident of the state is a potential clientele member.

We extend many of our efforts to members of the general public who implement IPM in their homes or home gardens. Plant diagnostic and insect identification services annually process 200+ samples from the public. Extension staff and master gardener volunteers at The Education Center annually answer 2,200+ pest-related questions from the public via a toll-free telephone number and email. The work of the diagnostic center and these public interactions have also contributed to various collections and research efforts, including 200+ species of bees, winter tick, first record of western bean cutworm. A member of the public found the first record of long-horned tick in the state, identified with the help of UNHCE.

Current & Future Programs

  • Expand monitoring network for BMSB
  • Quantify impact of cultural control education for SWD
  • Provide education on chlorpyrifos alternatives, monitoring & research support
  • Provide education on biocontrol in protected culture, monitoring & research support
  • Develop an Integrated Pest & Pollinator Management (IPPM) plant in collaboration with the NRCS & Xerces society
  • Distribute insect repellent kits for all outdoor extension activities