Spotted Lanternfly Eggs Hatch in Cleveland, Ohio

They’re here! Spotted Lanternfly nymphs have hatched from egg masses and emerged to crawl around on plants in Cleveland West 117th infestation.

 

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The infestation that was discovered last summer in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

egg masses

 

Adults were present at that time.

 

adult 2

 

 

 

On Thursday, May 19th, 2022, while scouting for SLF, we discovered what appears to be first instar nymphs that have emerged.

 

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Several weeks ago, we scouted egg masses on the West 117 infestation site.

 

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Yesterday, we observed nymphs on the underside of wild grape leaves.

 

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They were on the leaves

 

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and stems.

 

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On closer inspection, we discovered them on wild grape leaves, wild raspberry leaves, and Virginia Creeper leaves.

 

No nymphs were observed on Tree of Heaven, where egg masses were laid in the fall.

 

eggs

 

We have reached enough growing degree days for the eggs to hatch and the first instar nymphs to emerge.  These nymphs are tiny,

 

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so look CAREFULLY while you scout around for these nuisance invaders!

Queen European Hornet Sightings Stir the Pot

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In recent days, the Medina Extension Office has received a high volume of calls regarding large wasps found in homes. These have all been identified as European Hornets (Vespa crabro). As one of Ohio’s largest wasp species, it is not surprising that these beauties can cause alarm. Their size easily draws attention and concern, leading to a call.  But FEAR NOT.

 

 

European Hornet

 

 

 

QUICK FACTS:

-Beneficial predator in the landscape!!!! Carnivores that eat many soft bodied insects and pests in the garden.

-Native to Europe

– Found in the U.S. in the 1800’s

– Considered “Naturalized” to Eastern North America now

– Worker size approximately 1 inch

– Queen size approximately 1.5 inches

– Mahogany brown, yellow and black coloration

– The only true hornet in Ohio

– One of the few that will fly at night, often found at windows or outdoor lights

 

So what’s with the sightings this week?

European hornets, like many wasps and bees, build a new nest annually. Fertile queens emerge from hibernation in spring, right about NOW, and begin seeking a secure site to build their nest. European hornets build a paper-based nest inside of a protected cavity such as a hollow tree. They prefer a high nest entry, usually about 6 feet or more, for additional protection from nest raiders.

 

European hornets nesting in a log or tree trunk

 

Unfortunately, this criteria may bring hornets into conflict with humans because attics, garages, barns and wall voids also fit the bill for a protected cavity site. And so if you have found a large European hornet in your home or barn this spring, chances are it is a new queen who has found a gap along a window, door, or external vent in her search for a safe cavity to begin building those pulpy brood cells. The queen will lay eggs in the first few nest cells which will hatch into her first daughters. They will take over building the nest for the queen, and start collecting caterpillars and other soft bodied insects to feed their sister larva.

 

european hornet nest

 

 

Fortunately, if you are catching one now, you may prevent a nest from becoming established in your domicile.  You can catch and release or kill the unfortunate hornet to rid yourself of the immediate issue. To prevent other insects or critters entering in the future, it might be time for a perimeter inspection around your home. Check for any entry points that can be caulked or otherwise sealed.  Keep in mind that soffit vents and other openings may be required to properly ventilate your home. But gaps AROUND those pipes, spigots, and necessary exhaust vents (don’t seal up your dryer vent folks) can be sealed with steel wool, caulk, or other appropriate sealant to prevent these and other critters from getting indoors. Of course some structures like barns and sheds may be impractical to seal up. Later in the season, if you find a nest within a structure, it may be best to hire a professional for removal. But remember, at the end of each season with the first good freeze, all the workers and old queen will die, and only a few fertilized females will survive to be the queen and repeat the process next year.

 

The European Hornet has seen a resurgence of negative attention in recent years due to the confirmation of Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) nests in the state of Washington. The Asian hornet does not occur in the Eastern half of the US and as of this date, have only been found in Washington state and areas of British Columbia, Canada.  Extension does want the public to keep an eye open and report any suspicious or new invasive species, such as the new Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula). But when it comes to the European Hornet and the Asian Giant Hornet, there are some easy keys to telling them apart.

 

 

European hornets are often confused as Asian giant hornets. The two have different features making them easy to tell apart.

 

ID FEATURES

  • European Hornets have a yellow face and a mahogany reddish-brown head and thorax.
  • Asian Hornets have an entirely yellow-orange head and a black thorax.
  • European hornet abdomens have black stripes with visible TEAR-DROP shapes in them.
  • Asian Giant Hornet has solid black and orange bands.

 

European hornet stripes have black tear-drop shapes

 

European hornets have a yellow face, mahogany red-brown head capsule and thorax, and yellow and black striped abdomen.

 

 

Feel free to call your local Extension office for assistance in identifying insects or if you suspect a new invasive pest in your area. If you are concerned for an Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) you can also use the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website for reporting possible infestations.

10 Tips for Managing High Feed Prices

– Dr. Katie VanValin, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

We have all heard the phrase, “it’s the little things”. The saying applies to the beef industry as well. There is no single management practice, feed ration, or genetic trait that drives profitability. Profitability is really a summation of lots of little things coming together to create a profitable system. Whenever profitability is challenged whether from greater input prices like we are seeing now, or lower calf prices, I start to get questions about decreasing feed costs. This should come as no surprise, as feed costs are one of the biggest expenses facing beef cattle operations. Below is a list of some of those little things, that can really add up!

1) Preg checking: Our cows should be working for the operation. Thus, an open cow is one that is not pulling her weight on a cow-calf operation. Today producers have more options than ever before for preg checking their herds. New chute side blood tests can be completed right on the farm in about 10 minutes, there are also commercial labs that will run blood tests giving you results in just a couple of days, and of course there is always ultrasound which gives you a real time answer but does depend on scheduling and availability. Culling open cows not only decreases purchased feed costs but can also make our available forage resources go farther as well.

2) Buy in bulk: The ability to buy purchased feeds in bulk can allow producers to take advantage of bulk discounts offered by many feed retailers. Also having the ability to Continue reading

Forage Harvest Management to Speed Drying and Store High Quality Forage

Mark Sulc, Jason Hartschuh, CCA, and Allen Gahler, OSU Extension

“Hay in a day” is possible when making hay crop silage.

First cutting should be taken very soon to achieve high quality forage, as seen by some of the estimated NDF levels in standing alfalfa crops around the state. Keep in mind that for dairy quality hay, alfalfa should be stored near 40% NDF and grass hay crops should have less than 55% NDF, which happens in the boot stage, or before the first flowering heads begin to emerge. Keep in mind also that the cutting, drying, and storing process results in raising NDF levels at least 3 NDF units above what it was in the standing crop at the time of cutting, and that assumes quick drying and ideal harvesting procedures.

So, it is time to be thinking about that first cutting and looking for weather windows of opportunity, especially along I-70 and south. Cutting forage for haylage or dry hay is certainly a gamble but waiting for the perfect stretch of weather can end up costing us through large reductions in forage quality as the crop matures and the fiber becomes less digestible.

Before cutting though, keep in mind that the soil should be firm enough to support equipment. Compaction damage has long-lasting effects on forage crops. We’ve seen many fields where stand loss in wheel tracks led to lower forage yields, weed invasion, and frustrating attempts to “fill in” the stand later.

Before cutting also keep in mind any harvest intervals required for any pesticides applied. We know some growers around the state have applied insecticides for alfalfa weevil control, so any pre-harvest intervals on the insecticide label have to be followed in order to feed the forage after harvesting.

This article summarizes proven techniques that can help . . .

Continue reading Forage Harvest Management to Speed Drying and Store High Quality Forage

Kill Poison Hemlock Now

Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County OSU Extension

Poison hemlock is a concern in public right of ways, on the farm, and in the landscape!

Poison hemlock has already emerged in a vegetative state around Noble County and beyond. Soon it will be bolting and blooming on stalks 6-10 feet tall. All parts of the plant are toxic to all classes of livestock if consumed and is prevalent along roadsides, ditches, and crop field borders. It is a biennial weed that does not flower in the first year of growth but flowers in the second year. The earlier you can address poison hemlock with mowing and/or herbicide application, the better your control methods will be.

Poison hemlock is related to Queen Anne’s lace, but is much larger and taller, emerges earlier, and has purple spots on the stems. Another relative that is poisonous is wild parsnip, which looks similar to poison hemlock, but has yellow flowers. Giant hogweed is another relative of poison hemlock that is also toxic. All of these plants have umbel shaped clusters of flowers.

According to Joe Boggs of OSU Extension, “Poison hemlock plants contain highly toxic Continue reading

Pricing Standing Forage Crops – Your One-Stop Shop

Dianne Shoemaker, Farm Management Specialist, Ohio State University Extension; Dr. Mark Sulc, Professor and Extension Forage Specialist, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; and Dr. William Weiss, Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University

Warmer weather is just around the corner.  As forage crops break dormancy, so does the perennial question of how to price standing forage crops.  Whether they are vegetative small grain crops, pure grasses, grass and legume mixes, or pure legume stands, the fundamental considerations are the same:

  1. Determine market price of an equivalent crop
  2. Calculate and apply deductions:
    1. Cost of harvest, including mowing, tedding, and raking
    2. Cost of baling
    3. Cost of hauling
    4. Risk – nutrient variation
    5. Risk – weather, etc.
  3. Adjustments: These optional adjustments can be made if a forage analysis     is done post-harvest:
    1. Dry matter
    2. Feed value – If this option is chosen, then there is no deduction  made for risk of nutrient variation (d above).

Clearly, this is not a quick process, but when broken down into these steps, it is doable, easy to document, and provides a framework for the buyer and the seller to agree on a process and price that is acceptable to both parties before the crop is harvested.

Tools are available to assist with this process, all available at https://forages.osu.edu/forage-management/forage-economics.   These include:

Factsheet: “Assigning Value to a Standing Forage Crop”. This factsheet discusses each step listed above in detail, including links to helpful resources.

Spreadsheet: “Pricing Standing Forage Worksheet”. This spreadsheet follows the steps to calculate the ceiling price a buyer should pay based on the market price of equivalent forages and the costs of harvesting and transporting the crop, as well as considering adjustments for dry matter, quality, shrink, and risks that are transferred from seller to buyer.

Factsheet: “Pricing a Standing Oat/Spring Triticale Haylage”. Some farms grow these crops for cover crops while they are a dual-purpose crop for dairy farmers – winter ground cover and spring forage source.  Sometimes dairy farms have the chance to purchase these crops out of the field, extending feed supplies.  This factsheet walks through the process of pricing these standing crops harvested as haylage.

Spreadsheet “Pricing a Standing Oat or Triticale Haylage Worksheet Tool”. Save a little time with this spreadsheet as you work through pricing a standing crop, whether you are the buyer or the seller.

Setting the final, fair price for a hay or small grain forage crop rests on an understanding of the needs of both the buyer and the seller. It is critical that both parties agree on price, payment method and timing, crop yield measurement, restrictions, and similar details before the crop is harvested! Ideally, the agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties. These agreements are especially important when large quantities of crops (and money!) are involved. While this type of contracting may  be uncomfortable for some producers, mainly because they are not used to conducting business on more than a handshake, it forces the parties to discuss issues up front and minimizes troubling misunderstandings after harvest.