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Workshop to be held in Kennedy for berry growers

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m., The Berry Patch in Stephentown and Abers Acres in Kennedy will host concurrent berry production workshops in collaboration with Cornell University.

Designed for the commercial berry grower, the free workshops will give farmers up-to-date tools and techniques for monitoring for the invasive pest spotted wing drosophila. They will also cover the use of exclusion netting to combat the pest, as well as understanding cultural and chemical management strategies. The workshops are sponsored by the New York State Berry Growers Association and are free to attend; preregistration is required.

The educational event will feature hands-on demonstrations by, presentations by, and question-and-answer sessions with a variety of experts. For the Stephentown workshop, speakers include Laura McDermott of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Berry Patch owner Dale-Ila Riggs, Ted Storozum of Quebec-based netting manufacturer TekKnit, Chris Callahan of the University of Vermont, and Paul Lucas of Gintec in Ontario, Canada. Presenters for the Kennedy workshop include Dr. Greg Loeb and Stephen Hessler of Cornell University, Anya Osatuke of Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY, and Abers Acres owner John Abers.

The agenda for both workshops is identical, and will cover:

¯ An overview of spotted wing drosophila (SWD) monitoring, and management with insecticides and cultural practices

¯ An introduction to exclusion netting, a non-chemical, organic control for SWD

¯ Structural considerations for installing exclusion netting

¯ Using exclusion netting on fall high-tunnel raspberry crops

¯ Hands-on netting removal and storage demonstration

Although the workshop is free, registration is required. Aber’s Acres is located on Route 394 in Kennedy. Visit enych.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=1567 to register.

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