Page 20 - Griffin Gazette Issue 1 - 2019
P. 20



                                                      for detecting root aphid

                                                      and other problems in

                                                      CEA crops

        By Moriah LaChapell, CEA GGSPro Technical Specialist
        Root aphids are difficult to detect with   be finding pests in the early stages of   plant growth if populations become out
        routine crop work, and can easily be   infestation.                    of control. Therefore, it's important to
        overlooked if only the foliage is scouted                              scout for stunted plants and unexplained
        for pests. An active scouting program   Scouting involves inspecting the crop   wilting. Frequently check plants by
        of both the plant tops and roots is   for all life stages of pests and monitoring   removing the pot and examining the
                                           the presence of beneficial insects or
        warranted, especially for CEA crops                                    roots. Root aphids may be found both
        which tend to be long-term crops. Active   mites. After the scouting is completed,   on the roots and along the sides of
        scouting encourages early diagnosis and   the information must be recorded to   pots. Ants cultivate and protect root
        treatment of root aphid infestation, which   provide a clear, accurate picture of the   aphids. Ants in containers may indicate
        prevents more extensive problems from   pest occurrence and extent of damage.   the presence of root aphids. Winged
                                           Accurate records will also help to
        developing and helps to avoid the need                                 adults can be trapped on yellow sticky
        to destroy valuable plants.        identify patterns in pest populations and   cards. Winged root aphids look similar
                                           common routes of spread. For example,   to fungus gnats, but root aphids have
        Root aphids and other pests require   aphids can migrate from heavily infested   cornicles and larger bodies compared to
        consistent monitoring as an effective   plants in pots to ebb and flow trays and   fungus gnats. Scouts should be trained
        strategy for early detection. A dedicated   then to other pots. After evaluation of   to recognize these pests on cards.
        person is needed to take ownership   pest levels, an informed decision can be
        of scouting. The scout could be an   made to treat for the pest.       Some  basic  scouting principals  can  be
        employee or a contracted, professional   Symptoms of root aphid infestation   applied to all crops and all insect and
        horticulturist. No matter the background   include  yellowing,  wilting,  and  stunted   mite pests.
        of the scout, the top priority should


            Inspect in a zig zag pattern along the bench or growing
            area, checking from the roots to the top of the plants.
            This sampling method provides a survey of the crop
            and eliminates the need to inspect every plant. Train
            all employees to recognize the key pests and diseases
            occurring on crops to support designated scouts as an
            extra set of eyes while they're tending the crops.
                                                                                   Scouting Pattern, NYS IPM Program:
                                                                          Scouting pattern down aisles and between benches

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