Current Cucurbit & Smarter Apple Spraying Podcasts

The Current Cucurbit Podcasts

Iowa State University, in cooperation with the University of Kentucky and Cornell University, has released a series of podcasts to share their research experiences with improved resilience of cucurbit crops to attack by insect, weeds, and diseases for both organic and conventional production. This research has led to the development of mesotunnels using woven netting to exclude disease-carrying insect pests.

Five new episodes have been added to the podcast series to address use of bacterial phages for IPM, use of teff for weed suppression, multi-crop use of mesotunnels, mesotunnel use in New York, and grower feedback on the use of meso tunnels as an IPM tool for cucurbit production.

Figure 1. The Current Cucurbit website provides annual reports, videos, a blog, and other resources for those seeking more information.

The Current Cucurbit podcast series (season 2) is produced by Dr. Mark Gleason and Jose Gonzalez (Iowa State University) as part of a 3-state and 3-years-long USDA-NIFA-OREI project. This research project is looking at the capabilities of using mesotunnels as an IPM tactic for organic cucurbit growers, as well as options for organic weed management and exploring possible bio-control agents.  The podcast is available on three different platforms:

The Smarter Apple Podcast

Figure 2. Intelligent Sprayer is designed to control the full range of pests and diseases attacking apples.

Mark Gleason, working with researchers at The Ohio state University and USDA, also has another podcast series addressing new technologies to improve spraying efficiency, minimize drift, and reduce pesticide costs for apple production. The Intelligent Sprayer is the creation of a team of USDA-ARS engineers at Wooster, Ohio, led by Dr. Heping Zhu. Their Intelligent Sprayer is a modified airblast sprayer that uses the same LIDAR technology as driverless cars to sense the size and depth of apple tree canopies. It has been tested on nursery trees, peaches, grapes, and other large-canopy crops, and is now available commercially for retrofitting standard airblast sprayers.

By Ric Bessin, Entomology Extension Specialist

Posted in Misc. Topics
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