Got fungus? Check out UW’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic

The Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic at University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a variety of services. For their brochure, go here.

Also, the University of Wisconsin Extension service publishes a weekly podcast and transcript with news of plant disease and insect issues across the state. To download these updates, go here.

–Liz Bosak

Lucerne Moths Visit Cranberry Beds in Wisconsin in Big Numbers

Tim Dittl, an Agricultural Scientist at Ocean Spray Cranberries and a collaborator, discusses recent sightings of the Lucerne moth in Wisconsin. See below for his article:

This spring, I’ve been receiving several reports of moths flying in beds from Juneau all the way up to Vilas Co. While scouting the fields this week I was fortunate enough to be able to take some pictures of the moths and send them off to Phil Pellitteri, our State Entomologist in Madison, for positive identification. Funny thing, they all appear to be the same critter, the Lucerne Moth or Clover Nomophila, Nomophila neartica, a member of the family Pyralidae or snout moths. Although both Cranberry Girdler and Cranberry Fruitworm belong to this same family of moths, the Lucerne Moth has never been recorded as a pest of Cranberry, not yet anyway.

Lucerne moth larvae typically feed on clover, alfalfa, celery, smartweed and grasses and are sometimes referred to as the “false sod webworm.” Well, we certainly have clover, smartweed and grasses in and around the beds and on the dikes. The literature also states that they are common to Wisconsin, sometimes migrating to the far north. Their activity period ranges from April through October.

Identifying characteristics

Adult: at rest, wings are overlapped and hugged against abdomen, giving a long and narrow profile; forewing elongate, grayish-brown with two side-by-side dark oval spots near middle of wing, and another dark bi-lobed spot a little farther out; hindwing much broader than forewing, pale brownish-gray with whitish fringe.

Larvae: head black; abdomen variably light brown to dark gray with bumpy surface and sparse long hairs; thin dark dorsal line bordered by narrow pale strip. See pictures: Adult photo taken by Christine Ellis, Ocean Spray Cranberries.; larval photo taken from the World Wide Web.

Recently, a lot of mowing operations have been taking place on the marsh and this certainly may be helping drive them into the beds. I’m not sure that we’ll see any problems with them feeding on Cranberry this year, but we need to be aware of their presence and be on the look-out for any unusual insect activity going forward. What a strange year it’s been!

Cranberries in the News

This week, the Congressional Cranberry Caucus is working hard to advocate for the cranberry industry and the cranberry’s designation as a healthy fruit. For the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune article, go here.

Also, this week, there is a new director for the United Cranberry Growers Cooperative. For the Wisconsin Ag Connection article, go here.

On a related note, next week the WSCGA is hosting a golf fundraising event. For more information, go to our calendar and click on June 19th.

–Liz Bosak

Workshop on Renewable Energy for the Farm, July 16th

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is offering a workshop on the basics of site assessment and installation of solar and wind energy systems. For more information, click here.

For more information about renewable energy technologies, go to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s website. Also, the association will be hosting the 23rd annual Energy Fair in Custer, WI. For more information about tickets, workshops, and how to volunteer, go here.

–Liz Bosak