Lebanon Reporter

Commentary

June 5, 2007

Now’s the time to kill bagworms

Mid-June is the prime time to spray for bagworms. In the past few years, bagworms have caused damage on evergreens, especially arborvitae and blue spruce, in Boone County.

Chemicals should be applied when the bagworms are small. The larger the worms, the more difficult they are to kill. By late July or August, when most people notice bagworms, they can’t be controlled by insecticides. The plant foliage should be thoroughly covered with insecticide because the larvae are protected from contact by being in the silk bag.

Products registered for homeowner bagworm control that should be available locally, are: Acephate (Orthene); carbaryl (Sevin), cyfluthrin (Bayer PowerForce Multi-Insect Control Killer); malathion (Malathion); Bacillus thuringiensis (Dipel); spinosad (Fertilome Borer, Bagworm, Leaf Miner and Tent Caterpillar Spray); and permethrin (Eight).

At this time, there are no effective systemic insecticides to kill bagworms.

corn curse and blessing

Prolonged dry weather may turn out to be both a curse and a blessing for our developing Boone County corn crop. Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agricultural economist, said that the dry soils from lack of rainfall may cause uneven stands, but may also result in plants developing deeper roots to access moisture and nutrients, benefiting the crop as the season develops.

Corn is in a better situation under dry conditions than it would be if developing in saturated soils. Dry conditions promote a deeper root system, instead of roots residing near the soil surface as they often do in saturated conditions. That has benefits later in the growing season, said Thomison.

If roots are shallow and we have a rapid transition to dry weather later in the growing season, plants suffer because they don’t have roots deep enough to access moisture in the soil profile.

Overall, the corn crop is performing well in Boone County despite below-average rainfall. The National Weather Service (NWS), Indianapolis, reported 17 days of 80 degrees or higher during the month. The average daily high for May was nearly 79 degrees, which was 5.5 degrees higher than normal.

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