PRESS RELEASE: February 21, 2012
Contacts: Joe Lawrence, CCE Lewis, 315-376-5270; Michael Hunter, CCE Jefferson, 315-788-8450; Rick Levitre, CCE Franklin, 315-483-7403; Brent Buchanan, CCE St. Lawrence, 315-379-9192
Alfalfa Snout Beetle Control Workshops Set for March 6, 14, 15
The Cornell Cooperative Extensions (CCE) of Northern New York will offer free hands-on trainings on the on-farm rearing and application of nematodes to control alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) in early March. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is providing funds for the workshops that will take place on March 6 in Copenhagen, March 14 in Malone, and March 15 in Canton. Each workshop will run from 10am to 2pm and include lunch.
In areas where alfalfa snout beetle is unchecked, it is a highly destructive crop pest able to destroy an entire field of alfalfa in one season. Crop damage can be as much as $1,500/acre for complete loss of a second-year stand of alfalfa harvested to feed dairy herds and as a cash crop.
The March workshop participants will learn the farmer-friendly techniques for growing and applying native Northern New York nematodes as a biological control for ASB.
Participants will also receive a coupon to cover the cost of the nematodes for application to one field on their farm in 2012. Farmers will be responsible for applying the nematodes to their fields with guidance from local CCE educators.
The workshops will also include an update on the breeding of alfalfa snout beetle-resistant varieties of alfalfa.
The workshops will be held:
•Tuesday, March 6, Grace Episcopal Church, Copenhagen, register with CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450 or CCE Lewis County, 315-376-5270
•Wednesday, March 14, Emergency 911 Building, Malone, register with CCE Franklin County, 518-483-7403
•Thursday, March 15, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm, Canton, register with CCE St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192.
The development of the application of microscopic worms (nematodes) to destroy ASB, and the breeding of ASB-resistant alfalfa varieties have been made possible long-term by the farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The New York Farm Viability Institute has provided additional funding for educating farmers about this cost-effective on-farm biological control solution.