CHARLESTON, W. Va. — Agriculture commissioner Gus R. Douglass is asking West Virginia landowners to help the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and West Virginia University Extension Service fight gypsy moths, the state’s number one plant pest, through the Cooperative State-County-Landowner Gypsy Moth Suppression Program.
The CSCL Gypsy Moth Program will accept egg mass survey applications from landowners in Barbour, Berkeley, Braxton, Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jefferson, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Mineral, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Webster and Wetzel counties.
The sign-up period runs through Aug. 31. Landowners must provide a 7-minute topographic map with property boundaries clearly marked. The WVDA cannot map your property for you.
Topographic maps are available from the United States Geological Survey at 1-800-ASK-USGS or its website at http://store.usgs.gov.
The minimum acreage required to participate in the program is 50 contiguous acres of wooded land. Adjoining landowners may combine their properties to meet the acreage requirement.
Blocks must be made as rectangular as possible to be treated properly by aircraft without significant overspray. The presence of electrical transmission lines, communication towers, etc. may prohibit some blocks or portions of some blocks from being sprayed.
Application forms and brochures detailing the program are available at the WVDA’s Plant Industries Division website, your local WVU Extension offices and at WVDA field offices in Elkins at 304-637-0290, Inwood at 304-229-5828, Morgantown at 304-285-3133 New Creek at 304-788-1066 and Moorefield at 304-538-2397.
Once applications are received, a forest health protection expert will visit the property to determine if the level of gypsy moth infestation meets program guidelines.
A final decision to participate in the program must be confirmed by signing a contract and making a deposit to the WVDA by early December 2011. A final payment to the WVDA will be required prior to actual treatment. Notification of the deadline for final payment will be by mail.
During the last few years, the cost for gypsy moth treatment under the CSCL Gypsy Moth Program has been $33.43 per acre for Btk and $20.96 per acre for Dimilin, but prices for the coming year may be higher
Cost share. A 50 percent cost share on treatments may be available from the USDA Forest Service through a cooperative agreement with the WVDA. The total cost depends on the USDA Forest Service cost sharing, total acres proposed for treatment, and the cost of the insecticide and aerial application.
For more information, contact WVDA Plant Industries Division director Sherrie Hutchinson at 304-558-2212 or assistant division director and Gypsy Moth program manager Quentin Butch Sayers at 304-788-1066.