What To Expect After A Mild Winter

Coming off an unusually warm winter, what should vegetable growers be wary of in the coming months? What impact will these mild temperatures have on insect pest pressure?

Brian Nault, an associate professor in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, says mild winters with little snow fall often permit greater survival of insects that overwinter in the soil or in leaf litter in northern climates, like New York.

“Often, limited snow cover means that the ground where some pests overwinter is not well insulated and this would increase mortality if temperatures are extremely low for several days (zero or low teens for an extended period),” says Nault. “However, this winter, temperatures were mild enough that the insulation provided by snow was never needed.”

If the weather continues to be warmer than normal, insect pests will emerge earlier than usual, he continues.

“If growers plant crops earlier than usual, the pests will be in sync with the crops and everything will seem ‘normal’,” Nault explains. “If pests emerge earlier and growers hold off and plant at typical times, several scenarios could unfold. In some cases, the pest may attack the crop when the crop is younger and more vulnerable to damage (e.g., Colorado potato beetle). In other cases, the pest may emerge to find that it has no food because the crop has not been planted.”

Nault adds that the warm temperatures could present bigger problems with pests having multiple generations per year. He cites thrips and aphids as an example. “Extra generations could be completed because the season will be extended for them.”

Mike Orzolek, professor of vegetable crops at Penn State University, says that in addition to possibly dealing with insects earlier in the season, growers may be faced with earlier weed seed germination and possibly higher weed populations.  

“Scouting for pests as soon as a crop is either seeded or transplanted will be critical this year to obtain maximum crop yield,” adds Orzolek.  


Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

Apples & PearsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014…
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
NutsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014…
September 13, 2014
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts grown in California make up the crops featured in this portion of the Top 100 Report. Read More
FruitsAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014…
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
Stone FruitAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014…
September 13, 2014
This year’s Top 100 Report features the 25 largest stone fruit growers in the country. Read More
GrapesAmerican and Western Fruit Grower’s 2014…
September 13, 2014
The nations’s largest growers reflect how technology, innovations, and promotion help make their businesses run more efficiently. Read More
GrapesVintage Nurseries Welcomes New General Manager
September 12, 2014
New quality control manager also joins Wasco, CA, grapevine nursery. Read More
GrapesBrothers Continue To Grow Grapes And Produce Wine ̵…
September 12, 2014
The war has come close to their vineyard 90 miles southwest of Aleppo, with fighting only 100 yards away. Read More
GrapesMealybug Infestation Hits Michigan Vineyards
September 12, 2014
Southwestern vineyards in the state reports of grape leafroll virus which can be transmitted by mealybug. Read More
GrapesCalifornia Quarantine Partially Lifted For European Gra…
September 12, 2014
State lifts ban in Solano County and parts of Napa and Sonoma County. Read More
Crop ProtectionNimitz Nematicide Receives EPA Approval
September 12, 2014
New product from Adama has a unique mode of action and is approved for use on a variety of vegetables. Read More
Pest ControlKnock Down Nematodes In Florida Citrus
September 12, 2014
This video provides information on identifying the major nematodes threats to Florida citrus and provides management tips. Read More
MarketingMarketer Finds Niche With First-Of-Its-Kind Orange Maze
September 12, 2014
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Not Bob McKellar, creator of the first orange maze in the U.S. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateMore Coastal Land In California Quarantined For Asian C…
September 12, 2014
Additional Asian citrus psyllid adults and nymphs found on state’s central coast. Read More
Apples & PearsAgriculture Research Service Partnership With Cornell U…
September 12, 2014
ARS study focuses on disease resistance and cold tolerance to produce better apple rootstock varieties. Read More
FruitsUSDA Needs Your Help In Tracking Brown Marmorated Stink…
September 11, 2014
Researchers seeking voluntary information to track how pest overwinters. Read More
Apples & PearsWashington’s Grant County Could Overtake Yakima For M…
September 10, 2014
Apple growers moving farther south over the past 35 years. Read More
Disease ControlNew Findings On Beetle Flight May Help Control Deadly W…
September 10, 2014
Pheromone disruption may be the answer in minimizing thousand cankers disease. Read More
Crop ProtectionGiant Snail Threat Spreading In South Florida
September 10, 2014
Dangerous invasive pests found well outside Miami-area hot zone. Read More