IPM Strategies for Insect and Mites in Grapes and Hops in the Lake Erie Region

Worksite Location
Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Center (CLEREL)
Faculty Sponsor
Dr. Greg Loeb, Department of Entomology
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Tim Weigle, NYS IPM Program/Team Leader, Lake Erie Regional Grape Program
Stipend Amount
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The Lake Erie region provides a unique opportunity to be able to work on entomological projects in both grapes and hops. With 30,000 acres of grapes grown over a large geographical area encompassing 5 counties in two states, there is considerable diversity in the type and intensity of insect pest pressure providing a perfect place to develop and implement larger field-based applied research projects. The production of hops is seeing a reemergence in New York State as craft breweries are looking to capture their share of the market developed by the locally grown movement. The farm brewery legislation recently passed in New York State has created the need for locally grown brewing materials; making hops one of the fastest growing agricultural commodities in the state. The hop varieties being planted come from the Pacific Northwest and have not been extensively tested against the insect pests found in New York State. Limited pesticide control options for insects and mites, combined with the desire of growers and brewers as well as the end market of beer drinkers, to have sustainably, if not organically, produced local hops creates a need for alternative pest management practices to be developed. The availability of vineyards and hopyards found at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory, where the intern will be housed, provides the opportunity for more controlled applied research projects.

The grape portion of the project will focus on the implementation of a phenology-based, degree-day model developed for timing scouting and management applications for grape berry moth in grower vineyards. Grape rootworm, the primary insect pests of grapes in NYS prior to the introduction of DDT, is making a comeback in area vineyards and will be the focus of research into alternative management strategies and materials. Developing an understanding of the plant/pest interaction involving two-spotted spider mites in hops will examine the role of different irrigation regimes in the plants ability to withstand spider mite feeding.

Roles and Responsibilities

Intern will assist in the development of the experimental design for the spider mite (hops), grape berry moth, and grape rootworm (grapes) portions of the internship. The intern, in conjunction with in-field mentor, will conduct basic care of CLEREL hops plantings during the growing season including fertilization, irrigation, training and harvesting. Intern will be responsible for data collection, keeping detailed records and providing weekly reports of activities at CLEREL staff meetings. Intern will have the opportunity to present project updates at area grower meetings. The intern will also visit hop yards and vineyards across western New York with in-field mentor to collect field data and interact with growers on their current IPM strategies.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CALS freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

Other qualifications:
-Good oral and written communication skills.
-Ability to work without close supervision.
-Ability to work well with others
-Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel

Benefits and Skills

The intern will gain an understanding of how hypothesis-driven applied research is developed and conducted, as well as its relevance to growers. The intern will become familiar with the wide range of opportunities for the dissemination of information to stakeholders including but not limited to: web pages, blogs, podcasts, digital video, electronic newsletters, hard copy publications and newsletters as well as posters and presentations. The intern will also be exposed to how the 'locally grown' movement has affected production agriculture in NY and the opportunities it presents for diversification and/or development of new markets. Intern will develop an understanding of important pest/plant interactions as part of different management programs (both cultural and pest). The intern will have the opportunity to develop/hone oral presentation skills by providing a project report at summer grape and hops meetings help by LERGP prior to returning to school. The intern will also present the results of the project at the CALS Summer Intern Report-Out held on the Cornell Ithaca campus in the fall of 2015.