For the second straight year, the week after writing a column about West Nile Virus (WNV), new cases are found in Indiana. Updating last week, still no human cases were found but mosquitoes in Hamilton County were found to test positive for containing the WNV which was the first find.
The area reportedly had underwent a serious spray program in an attempt to maintain the virus.
Now for an invasive species update. Most know that the purple sticky traps hanging in trees in the area are for monitoring or detecting any Emerald Ash Borer beetles that may be present. These beetles pose certain death to ash trees and have been showing up in a pattern moving from north to south as they initially entered via the Detroit area.
Beetles only migrate about a half mile per year. Problem is that the transport of firewood can move these beetles long distances. Last week unfortunately, this exotic invasive pest was found to have made a huge jump south to Floyd County near the Kentucky/Indiana border near Louisville. Previously the Marion/ Hamilton County line north of Indianapolis was the furthest south this pest had been found in Indiana.
The key to finding ash trees that are affected is finding ash trees with suckers growing from main branches or trunk. The holes of this borer differ in that they are "D" shaped but early on beetles take haven in the tree top making the shape of the hole difficult for one to see.
Please as many times in previous years mentioned in this column, please do not move or transport firewood when going camping or traveling to other locals.
Asian Soybean Rust (SBR) has been very quiet this year relative to previous years.
Beau Froderman, summer assistant in Clay County, has been collecting and sending in samples from a soybean sentinel plot as well as a kudzu location as part of Purdue's sentinel program. Last year, soybean rust was found in Owen County in double crop soybean, thankfully after it would not be a yield reduction factor.
Normally one might be relaxing by now about SBR fear with it staying so far south.
But with this season's late planted beans, this will merit being monitored. There was a heavy soybean rust spore deposition in mid -late July that was noted by a company that does rust spore Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay work with rain water samples from all over the upper mid west region. A Canadian researcher released this information to the media and it is spreading around the rumor mills like a wildfire.
Please note that finding spores in rain water does not mean we have soybean rust. Many of the spores that are found in rain water are not viable. No SBR has been found in Indiana this year. Checking the SBR national map at www.ppdl.purdue.edu /PPDL/SBR/08ASRfinds.html shows SBR confined to the Gulf Coast at current time. There have been newer finds in Texas and Louisiana and hurricanes and tropical storms can certainly influence the spread. The cool and northwest flow recently being experienced by the area should help to keep SBR to the southern region of the US at least in the short term. The sentinel plot system set up does work and producers will receive information should SBR be found to be a threat.
You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 829-5020 Ext.14 in Owen County or 448-9041 in Clay County for more information or publication copies regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While most publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.
Aug. 6-17 Indiana State Fair
Aug. 18 Goat Parasite Management Workshop, Owen Valley FFA Farm, 6 p.m.
Aug. 23 Direct to Consumer Marketing Workshop, Bloomington, 9:30 a.m.
Aug. 28 SARE Farmer Grant Writing Workshop, Spencer, 7-9 p.m.
Sept. 5-6 Grazing 102, Rochester
Sept. 13 Nature Daze, Brown County, 9 a.m.