Regional media cover NNYADP alfalfa snout beetle control research success. . . WWNY TV 7 Patrick Malowski has posted his feature story on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded alfalfa snout beetle project success in using nematodes to control crop pest and the interest of 30 farmers in applying the insect-attacking worms to help protect their alfalfa crops, a valuable dairy industry feedstock.
The Mother’s Day edition of the Watertown Times features an article by reporter Elaine Avallone on a variety of alfalfa research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. Cornell University Plant Breeder Julie L. Hansen is advancing the selection of ASB-resistant varieties of alfalfa. Her work led to the first commercial seed for ASB-resistant alfalfa. That seed was available for the 2nd year in 2015. Julie is also evaluating ways to improve the winter hardiness of alfalfa for NNY growers and ways to combat brown root rot of alfalfa.
Thanks go to farmer John E. Peck and the Peck Homestead Farm family who hosted the alfalfa snout beetle on-farm research trials for more than two decades in support of the long-term commitment required to develop a proper understanding of the pest, its life cycle and its predators. The protocol for using native NY nematodes as an inexpensive, effective biocontrol was developed by Cornell University Entomologist Elson Shields and Research Support Specialist Tony Testa. They devised a specific greenhouse process to support the research and field testing now shows that the nematodes will persist and spread, making it possible that a single application of the nematodes is enough to reduce pest populations to manageable levels.
The NNYADP dedicated funding, support of the NYS Legislature and the patient science-based research that has developed the use of nematodes combined with the selective breeding of ASB-resistant alfalfa varieties is writing a success story for Northern New York crop growers and the dairy industry.