Potato pest management

Brian Nault treats potatoes for an experiment to identify alternative insecticides to neonics for potato pest management.

GENEVA — Specialty crop entomologists from Cornell AgriTech and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program will use a $450,000 grant from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to evaluate alternatives for controlling insect pests that threaten the state’s $1.4 billion specialty crop industry.

The scientists will explore alternatives to neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos, which have been shown to harm the environment — as well as pollinators and other beneficial insects — by mounting evidence, including a 2020 analysis of neonicotinoid use in New York by Cornell’s Dyce Lab for Honeybee Studies.

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