High Tunnel Pest Management with Biocontrols

Worksite Location
Essex County
Project Dates
Between summer classes
Faculty Sponsor
John Sanderson
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Amara Dunn
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Carly Summers
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

As the use of high tunnels has recently expanded in the North Country, outreach and education regarding the use of effective biocontrols to control locally-important pests is needed. This winter and spring, CCE Essex will begin visiting growers and sharing specific plans growers can implement in their high tunnels to control the top pests in the region, such as aphids. As the growing season progresses, the program adoption as well as the pest and biocontrol populations will be monitored to assess program effectiveness. Pest damage may need to be rated. The data will support optimization of biocontrol program development for the region, as well as bolster awareness and outreach to expand the use of biocontrols, reduce pesticide use and increase profitability for growers. 

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern will arrive in the summer to monitor for program adoption, effectiveness, beneficial & pest presence, and rate for pest damage. The entomology expertise of the intern will support the program’s impact and effectiveness assessment. The intern will analyze the data generated to: develop recommendations for future projects and create visual data representing his/her findings for presentation to growers for further outreach on impact of the project. 

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Entomology courses as well as pest/beneficial identification and field quantification experience needed. 

Benefits and Skills

The intern will gain valuable field experience in pest & beneficial population monitoring, analysis of field data, and biocontrol program impact assessment. The intern will have the opportunity to become familiar with the small, diverse farms of Essex County and the many strategies for high tunnel production that growers are experimenting with.  Please note, Westport, NY, home of Essex County CCE, is a very rural community within the Adirondack Park. Students can look forward to hiking and outdoor exploration. In order to ensure the intern has a positive summer experience, we would like to let interns know that metropolitan activities are limited.