Thank you USDA Exploratory Grants!

We just got word that USDA is funding us to resequence the Colorado potato beetle genome to understand rapid pest evolution and improve sustainable pest management! This grant will be led by Sean Schoville (Univ. of Wisconsin) and will also involve Dave Hawthorne (Univ. of Maryland)

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Attention Vegetable Growers! Help us fill out a survey on swede midge – a worsening pest in the Northeastern US

I am requesting your help in forwarding this survey to vegetable growers in your region. As you may know, swede midge is slowly invading within the Northeastern US.

We are currently conducting a survey to determine: 1) how much existing knowledge growers have on effective pest management practices and 2) determine grower willingness to try alternative pest management practices.

We would appreciate if you could complete this online survey. It should only take about 5-8 minutes of your time.

To have your responses included in our grower survey, which will be summarized for the USDA and regional IPM center, please fill the survey out by March 12, 2015.
https://survey.uvm.edu/index.php/224619/lang-en
Here is a summary statement introducing swede midge:
Swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii, is an invasive insect pest in the Northeastern US that can cause devastating losses to Brassica crops (up to 100%). Given the staggering losses caused by the midge and its recent rise in damage in the Northeastern US (especially upstate NY), there is serious need to develop sustainable pest management strategies prior to the onset of major economic losses. Brassicas are a vital crop for Northeastern vegetable growers; New York is the top producer for fresh cabbage nationwide, and 2nd in processing cabbage (total value of $62 million per year). The current major pest management recommendation, aside from long and widely-spaced rotations, is to use systemic neonicotinoids at planting, followed by weekly applications of neonicotinoids. There are few alternatives to conventional insecticides, so organic growers are particularly at risk with the increase in midge damage in the Northeastern US.

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Yolanda to speak at Wageningen University

Yolanda will be heading the Netherlands to Wageningen University, where she will give a talk as part of the Evolution and Ecology Seminars on May 23! She will also teach a Master class as part of the visit.

http://www.wageningen-evolution-ecology-seminars.nl/

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Thank you UVM REACH!

We are pleased to receive a UVM REACH grant for Kristian to study the evolutionary genomics of insecticide resistance in Colorado potato beetle!

http://www.uvm.edu/~gradcoll/?Page=REACHgrant.html&SM=Facultystaffmenu.html

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The midge advances

I gave a talk yesterday at the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association Annual Meeting about Gemelle and Chase’s recent lab results. The latest news is that swede midge has made it to the eastern side of Vermont to Norwich, VT and is in the Connecticut river valley.

Within Vermont, the midge has also been reported in Chittenden, Addison, and Lamoille counties. Please email me if you have any updated news about its distribution.

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