Apple Grower Earns Excellence in IPM Award for Decades of Outstanding Service
by Mary Woodsen
Geneva, NY. January 20, 2016: Farmers, legislators, researchers — apple grower Peter Ten Eyck is in touch with them all. His dedication to both Cornell’s research arm and New York’s apple industry are virtually unequaled. Now, for a lifetime of stewardship and decades promoting IPM’s role in sustainable farming, Ten Eyck has earned an Excellence in IPM award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM).
Ten Eyck’s influence on farm viability in New York is “legendary,” says Dan Donahue, a Cooperative Extension educator in eastern New York. “I always have found Peter to be at least a step or two ahead of practically anyone connected to the fruit industry in New York.”
The insight Ten Ecyk brings to the table, Donahue suggests, stems from his engagement at all levels of New York agriculture — an engagement refined by his service as a member of the Advisory Board of the New York Center for Agricultural Health and Medicine; delegate to the Council of Agricultural Organizations; trustee of the New York State Farm Bureau Foundation — and a trustee emeritus of Cornell University. And he serves on the New York State Agriculture and Markets Apple Research and Development Board, which supervises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support research projects, many with an IPM focus.
At Indian Ladder Farm south of Albany, NY, Ten Eyck practices what he preaches, having used IPM protocols for decades. While its Eco-Apple-certified orchard is the farm’s mainstay, the Ten Eyck family also grows organic vegetables and berries — again, relying on IPM tactics to keep pests under threshold.
“Peter’s innovative approaches challenge the farmers' status quo in apple production and pest management,” says Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM’s coordinator for fruit research and outreach. “He’s always pushing us to look deeper and take risks for the sake of protecting the environment from unnecessary pesticides.”
In fact, Ten Ecyk provided Carroll with material core to the TracApple pesticide-tracking software that Carroll crafted with his input. And his early use of Skybit Services’s reports, which gave him a heads-up on weather that could favor apple disease and insect pests, were key as Carroll refined NYSIPM’s Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA). Now NEWA’s farm-based pest forecasts span not only the Northeast but parts of the Southeast and Midwest as well.
Ten Eyck received his award on January 20 at the 2016 Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo in Syracuse, NY.