Alice Wise, viticulture and research specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, and Keith Eggleston, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center, each received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM on farms, businesses, schools and communities, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.
According to a press release, the main focus of Wise’s IPM work has been to provide grape growers with information and best practices to reduce and optimize the use of pesticides. Wise has conducted research on under-trellis weed management, focusing on cover crop care and the reduction of chemical use. She has promoted the use of netting to protect grapes from migrating flocks of birds and has studied the effectiveness of leaf-pulling as a way to prevent cluster rots. She has also monitored the emergence and development of grapevine viruses.
“It is hard to overestimate Alice’s impact on the development of sustainable viticulture on Long Island and the Eastern United States,” said Laurence Perrine, CEO of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing.
Wise also helped to develop guidelines and regulations for Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, the only third-party certified program for vineyards on the East Coast.
Wise received her award Jan. 10 at the Long Island Agriculture Forum in Riverhead, New York.
Eggleston was recognized for his contribution to the Network for Environment and Weather App, NEWA. Eggleston wrote the code for the IPM forecast models on NEWA’s website, newa.cornell.edu.
NEWA’s weather data summaries and IPM forecasts give farmers crucial information to make scientifically based decisions about how to best manage pests.
According to a press release, these IPM tools work so well that NEWA expanded from around 40 to over 600 weather stations and from one state to 14. The pest forecasts help farmers in New York and other states predict when pests might strike and how severe that strike might be — saving them from both overspraying and undue worry.
“Keith’s understanding of programming languages, weather, climate, and the NEWA users themselves serves as a foundation for our collaborative success,” said Dan Olmstead, NEWA coordinator, adding that Eggleston’s real strength comes from his endless patience, calm thinking, collaborative spirit, and tenacity. “NEWA continues to grow rapidly because the tools Keith built stand the test of time and end-user scrutiny.”
Eggleston received his award Jan. 17 at the Empire State Producers’ Expo in Syracuse, New York.