by Margaret Haining Cowles
LynOaken Farms, Inc., of Lyndonville, New York, is owned and managed by an innovative team of apple growers: Darrel Oakes, his father Jim Oakes, cousin Jeff Oakes, and business associate Dan Thurber.
LynOaken's owners have worked with Cornell researchers and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel on several projects, including one on pheromone mating disruption as a means of improving management of a serious insect pest of apples, the obliquebanded leafroller. They have also established on-site "nurseries" where beneficial predator mites can be reared and used to manage mite pests in their orchard.
One of LynOaken's unique features is a "tunnel sprayer" that Darrel Oakes designed for use in the farm's dwarf tree planting. This sprayer reduces pesticide drift, increases efficacy of application, and catches and recirculates a substantial portion of the product that misses the trees the first time around.
LynOaken employs Jim Misiti, also of Lyndonville, to scout its orchard using IPM methods. Misiti was an "Excellence in IPM Award" winner last year.