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- January 1, 1989 - December 31, 2012
has contribution area
has academic priority
has USDA Area
impact statement impact
- With an effective biological control established across the snout beetle infested area, the populations of snout beetle will be reduced. As a result, alfalfa production will increase and dairy farmers will have reduced cost of milk production.
impact statement issue
- Dean David Call requested that I take on the project in 1989 since there were no management options and the alfalfa in New York's North Country was being destroyed in a single year. Loss of alfalfa is a serious economic problem to dairy farmers, and frequently caused farmers to go bankrupt.
impact statement response
- It has required 20 years of intense research to get to the point where we are releasing a biocontrol organism that is effective on this insect. We have identified and field tested these nematodes in northern New York where the insect is present, with excellent results. During the past two years, we have perfected a "farmer-friendly" rearing method and field application compatible with equipment found on the farm. In total, we have inoculated 96 fields in six counties with these nematodes. During the next two years, interested farmers, FFA members, and 4-H members will be taught the rearing technique and field application method.
impact statement summary
- We have isolated, tested, and field tested three strains of insect-attacking nematodes that are adapted to New York conditions against alfalfa snout beetle. All three strains are effective in killing the insect. A total of 96 fields across northern New York have been inoculated with the nematode to start reducing the alfalfa snout beetle populations, which are frequently one million beetles to the acre.
- Shields, Elson J. Researcher
- Both Basic Research and Applied Research
- Shields, Elson J. Cornell Faculty Member