Entomologists at UMass Amherst report that some of the first gypsy moth egg masses to hatch in the state in 2017 have been observed on Wednesday, April 26 in Belchertown, Mass. at a single location off US-202. On April 27, egg hatch was also reported in Hingham, Mass.
UMass Amherst entomologist Joe Elkinton and UMass Extension entomologist Tawny Simisky are quoted in this article in this AP article on the this year's predicted arrival of the winter moth. (Westerly Sun, 11/23/16)
Cranberries are a billion-dollar industry in Massachusetts and employ more than 6,900 people. But the market is getting crowded, and that’s pushing down the price. Wisconsin has been the top grower in North America for years. Quebec has only been growing cranberries for the last 20 years, but it surpassed Massachusetts in its cranberry harvest in 2014. Why hasn’t Massachusetts kept up with the Wisconsin and Quebec?
When Joe Elkinton worries about gypsy moths, it is time everyone else in Massachusetts does, too. Elkinton is a professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst and an expert on this pest. Recently he observed, “I would say almost surely this is the largest outbreak we’ve seen since 1981. This is unprecedented. It’s been 35 years. Defoliation caused by gypsy moth Lymantria dispar has occurred over this summer, in many parts of Massachusetts and the rest of New England.”
Welcome to the year of the gypsy moth caterpillar. The tiny critters are feasting on leaves and wreaking havoc on trees, mostly oak, but not exclusively. “I would say almost surely this is the largest outbreak we’ve seen since 1981,” said Joe Elkinton, professor of entomology in UMass Amherst’s department of environmental conservation. “This is unprecedented. It’s been 35 years." (Enterprise News 6/28/16)
Thresholds for determining when a pest insect in a cranberry bog requires a treatment response have been set by the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, according to a monthly column for growers. (Wicked Local Carver, 5/30/16)
Carolyn J. Demoranville, director of the Cranberry Experiment Station in Wareham, talks about how cranberry farmers are adjusting to the warm winter this year. She says growers traditionally flood their bogs in winter to protect the plants from damage. (Wicked Local Kingston, 2/1/16)
Ahhh, cranberries. The very word conjures up an abundant Thanksgiving table, rich with the sights, smells, and tastes of a traditional Fall feast. This tiny fruit has become one of America’s gastronomic icons. However, with so many new cranberry-infused products on the market -- from juices to dried fruit to trail mix and snacks of all kinds -- enjoyment of cranberries has extended well beyond the November holiday.