Reports have been coming in across the state about egg masses appearing on everything outside — decks, pools, headstones, sports equipment and yard décor.
The University of Kentucky Department of Entomology has determined these are fall armyworm egg masses. This year has featured large populations of this pest already and it seems they have produced many eggs.
Fall armyworms have been seen in high numbers throughout the growing season and other states have reported that this year is the worst they have seen since the late 1970s. These egg masses are here and then gone rapidly, they can complete their hatching in between two to five days depending on the temperature.
In some of the images shared with us, there were small caterpillars already emerging.
The sheer numbers of eggscould mean there will be immense feeding pressure for crops, lawns and pastures. Lawns treated for white grubs with either Acelepryn or Scott’s GrubEx in the spring likely are protected from damage. Otherwise, control is the most successful when the larvae are small so treatment should be considered within the next few days.
If you find the eggs you simply can destroy them by hand. It is best that folks monitor their crops, pastures and lawns though for more caterpillars and their windowpane-like damage. These can create a lot of damage and are easiest to control when they are small.
GRAZING SCHOOL. The University of Kentucky will host the Kentucky Grazing School Sept. 22-23 at the Woodford County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to help ruminant producers maximize the use of their forages as the fall grazing season begins.
The school includes a mixture of classroom presentations, on-site demonstrations and hands-on activities. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialists in livestock, forages, engineering and economics will join county extension agents, representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and industry to lead the schools.
Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Woodford County Extension Service office in Versailles and ends by 5 p.m. It will feature hands-on activities at UK’s nearby C. Oran Little Research Center and on a local producer’s farm.
During the first day, participants will break into small groups with an assigned set of calves. Students will then calculate the amount of forage their calves need for a 24-hour period.
At the research farm, students will estimate the available forage in the pasture and set up a paddock using temporary fencing and water that provides enough forage for the 24-hour period. Cattle will then graze the paddocks. Attendees will observe and report on their paddocks to the entire class near the end of day two. Also in groups, participants will design a grazing system for a local producer’s farm and share their designs with everyone.
Participation is limited to 45 people and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost to attend is $60 per person and includes all educational materials, grazing manuals, breaks and lunch both days. Sept. 17 is the registration deadline.
Individuals can register online at www.fallgrazingschool.eventbrite.com or mail registration and a check payable to the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council to Carrie Thrailkill, University of Kentucky Research and Education Center, 348 University Drive, Princeton, KY, 42445.
Program sponsors include the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, Kentucky Master Grazer Educational Program and Kentucky Beef Network.