Loss of Ornamentals IPM program would have major impact on greenhouse and nursery growers
The New York State Integrated Pest Management program’s contract with the state’s Dept. of Agriculture was expected to last through June 30, 2011. This termination date was based on state funding that had been made available in 2010. The contract has been revised to terminate 3 months earlier on March 31.
NYS IPM director Don Rutz and Ornamental IPM coordinator Betsy Lamb have advised greenhouse and nursery growers that in addition to the termination of the IPM program the state’s Ag and Markets funding was also reduced last year and that no state support for Community IPM efforts have been provided during the previous two budget years.
Programs that will be lost if funding is not restored include: greenhouse biocontrol on-farm workshop programs; greenhouse IPM in-depth on-farm and campus-based workshops; nursery IPM advancement program and the Christmas tree IPM advancement program.
In 2010, the NYS Ornamentals Program provided training to over 1,300 people. It trained greenhouse growers (560), nursery owners and landscapers (350), Christmas tree growers (100), Master Gardeners (100), college students (120) and the general public (200).
Rutz and Lamb are advising ornamental growers to contact Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Commissioner of Agriculture Darrel Aubertine along with several assembly persons and senators to extend the funding for the IPM programs currently in place.