Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 23, 1981, Image 132

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    Dl2—Lancaster Fanning, Saturday, May 23,1981
contentedly amidst succulent new
green foliage, billions of fuzzy
black caterpillars now are feasting
on and starting to defoliate trees in
most of the state.
These gypsy moth larvae will
begin their permanent descent in
June an event that will alarm
Pennsylvanians confronted by
denuded or partially bare trees,
and caterpillars everywhere un
Seeking to protect trees and to
destroy the invaders, many people
then will spray with insecticide or
hire someone to do so.
Some will drape burlap around
tree trunks to capture and later kill
Berks dairyman
(Continued from Page Dll)
Duncan praises a recent change
m the parlor, a De Laval DV 300
milking unit with automatic take
“The pulsation starts off slow,
and, as the milk flow gets stronger,
it goes to 70 pulses per minute.
When the cow is milked out, the
button goes down and the claws
come off,” he explains.
“It’s the fastest way to get the
milk out of a cow,” he adds, noting
his mastitis rate has come down
since he changed from a non
automatic unit.
Duncan attributes his reduced
mastitis count to other factors: the
low-line with its 3-mch stainless
steel pipe and 3-mch vacuum line,
dry udders before the milker is put
on the cow, and treating teats with
a dip.
“The low-line produces a stable
vacuum we milk at 15 pounds
now instead of the old 13 pounds
where we had trouble with milkers
coming off.
“The terry towels are the secret
for mastitis control though. When
the cow’s dry before the milker is
put on, there’s no chance for dirt
and manure to work its way down
into the claw and up into the teat.
And terry towels are cheaper,
reusable, and better than paper
towels. We keep enough towels on
hand for each cow to supply two
days of two-tunes-a-day milking,”
Duncan professes.
The DHIA rolling average of the
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Replastering, roofs,
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Newville, PA 17241
Penn State prof advises gypsy moth control
the insects.
“By that time such strategies
are in vain and you’re wasting
time and money,” advises Stanley
G. Gesell, a Penn State professor
of Entomology Extension.
“When the caterpillars come
down to lay gypsy moth eggs, the
tree damage has been done. If
you’re aiming to destroy the in
sects by spraying when they’re on
the ground, you’ll cause a worse
nuisance an enormous stench of
decaying caterpillars.
“At that juncture you’d best
leave them alone,” he advises.
“They’ll disappear by July 1.”
The only way to .prevent
significant tree damage, and
Duncan herd is 16,400 pounds milk
with 642 pounds fat. And, like most
Berks County farms, Duncan ships
his milk as an mdependent to a
local dairy.
He explains Berks County-is not
in the Federal Order and is
regulated by the’ Pennsylvania
Milk Marketing Board.
“We get 28 cents below the
Federal Order for our milk,” he
says, “but we come out above
because of higher utilization.
Clarifying his position as a Berks
dairy farmer and as the president
of the Keystone Milk Marketing
Association, Duncan states, “I’m
not saying the Federal Order isn’t
necessary there are places
where it’s needed. But it shouldn’t
be forced on farmers who don’t
need it, like here where our milk
supplies a local market and our
promotion dollars are spent.”
Duncan also serves as president
of the Berks Dairy Farmers
Association and as chairman of
his township’s planning com
mission. He is a member of the
county’s Pennsylvania Farmers’
Association, Bernville Grange, and
Chamber of Commerce Ag
“Politics is a necessary evil. As
farmers, we have to watch out for
ourselves. No one else is going to
protect us, preserve our farmland
or prices. Farmers are an en
dangered species vitally important
to our country,” Duncan con
sometimes tree death, he con
tinues, is to spray and only in
mid-to-late May, after the eggs
laid the previous summer have
hatched and before the larvae have
eaten too much.
“Unless individuals and com
munities to extensive spraying
soon,’’ he emphasizes, “we can
expect tremendous defoliation, an
unpredictable amount of tree
mortality and large numbers of
unhappy people.”
Short of spraying now, he adds,
the only positive strategy is to
drape large pieces of burlap
around tree trunks, for ten days to
two weeks beginning the last week
in May.
“During that period,” explains
Gesell, “large numbers of the
larvae come down from high tree
branches m the morning to avoid
the growing heat. While some of
these caterpillars seek shelter m
loose tree bark, many can be
captured in the burlap, which
they’ll also use to hide in before
their afternoon pilgrimmage back
up the tree. Larvae thus captured
can be mashed and disposed of.
“Unfortunately, many people
misunderstand that where the
trees are concerned, this is only a
palliative. It prevents total
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defoliation, leaving the trees
green. It doesn’t protect trees from
the serious damage which, if
sustained for two or three con
secutive years, can kill the tree.”
While gypsy moth larvae will eat
the leaves of many types of forest,
fruit and shade trees, they have
their preferences, he continues.
They favor oaks, but will munch on
apple, birch, hazlenut, linden,
beech, red cedar, hemlock, willow,
pine and spruce. They don’t like
ash, balsam, fir, blackberry,
dogwood, grape, holly, mulberry,
sycamore and walnut.'
This spring, says Gesel, Penn
sylvania is experiences its biggest,
most devastating gypsy moth
invasion. Areas which suffered
significant infestation last year
have had a far greater outbreak
and probably will sustain still
more tree damage.
The long-established pattern is a
two- or three-year massive out
break followed by a collapse.
Part of a northeastern U.S.
phenomenon, he explains, the
state’s gypsy moth problem
generally has been moving nor
theast to southwest along the
mountain ridges. The “front" this
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year is near Phillipsburg, in
Clearfield County.
Major parts of Centre, Hun
tingdon and Blair counties also are
being hard hit. Nearby Cambria,
Bedford, Fulton and Franklin
counties are suffering too.
And significantly this year the
gypsy moth has made its first -
major invasion of Philadelphia and
southeastern Pennsylvania. It also
agam will do extensive damage in
the Poconos, as well as in the
northcentral/northeastem count
ies of Tioga, Bradford,
Susquehanna and Wyoming.
Of the 41 million square
miles of land in the
temperate zone, only
five million are consi
dered good farm land.
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