Author Archives: Rod Youngman

Orchardgrass: First update on billbug degree-days

According to the Agmaster degree-day collection service – same
company we’ve been using. Given a Jan. 1, 2011 start date, and as of
Mar. 23, 172 DD have accumulated. Model predictions for April 2, are
195 DD.

Recall, 280 DD represents the start of billbug adult activity moving
back into orchardgrass. At this point and beyond you need to start
monitoring field edges for the paired-feeding holes that adults make.
This is a presence/absence sample that gives you an idea on whether
or not they’re in a field. There are no thresholds for spraying or
not spraying – personal judgement call.

As always, if you need more information, contact your local extension
agent or me. My office number is 540-231-9118, cell 540-357-2558, email

Section 18 for Avipel use in Virginia – APPROVED by EPA

It’s official. EPA has approved the Section 18 for Avipel use on field and sweet corn planted in Virginia. Recall that birds need to feed on a few Avipel treated seeds before they will move on. Avipel does not kill birds. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Rod Youngman:; office 540-231-9118; cell 540-357-2558; FAX 540-231-9131.

Section 18 for Avipel use in Virginia – down but not out


In an email I received yesterday from Micah Raub at VDACS, he said the Section 18 for use of Avipel in Virginia was returned for lack of sufficient economic justification. One of the benchmarks for EPA approval is documentation of 20% loss, which we don’t have. However, in lieu of that, grower testimonials for 2010, as many as possible, will go a long way in swaying the argument. So, I need you to fax me (540-231-9131) ASAP your full name and address including County where bird-damaged field(s) was located; field size (ac); unit cost/bag; full name of seed used; row spacing; plant population density (i.e., # seeds planted/ac); and finally, and most important — out of a ?? acre field, the number of acres that were replanted? For example, 3 of 10 ac were replanted 2 times or 10 of 10 acres were replanted 1 time, etc.. NOTE: If you don’t have all the data I’m requesting, provide what you can, and estimate to the best of your ability the rest. Remember, some data is better than no data at all.

Also, if you sustained bird losses to corn in 2010, but did not replant, please send the number of acres/field, acres damaged/field, and estimates such as what it would have cost to replant and/or yield loss costs associated with the bird-damaged acres.

The sooner I receive this information, the sooner I can send it off to Micah Raubb, who will quickly review it, and then forward on to EPA. So I encourage you to do your part in this important matter.

Thank you,


Avipel Section 18 for Virginia -not yet

You may have heard about the Section 18 I sent to VDACS last Dec. on Avipel; a humane bird repellant product for corn. This announcement will bring you up-to-date on where this Section 18 currently stands. If approved by EPA, Avipel will NOT be registered as a restricted use product. It can be used on field corn as well as sweet corn, and the graphite and liquid slurry formulations are grower applied.

The Section 18 document was sent off to VDACS in Dec. 2010. After all the separate committees gave their approval, it passed through VDACS, and is in EPA’s hands. The bird injury data and detailed data of crop loss and costs associated with replanting from one grower were very useful. In addition, Scott Reiter requested 2010 bird damage numbers from all ANR agents, which also proved useful. This data along with the grower’s data helped me build a case for the Section 18.

Micah Raub at VDACS, with whom I was working closely, sent an earlier draft to EPA. According to Micah, there were only a few minor items that needed tightening up, which we were able to resolve over a phone conversation. EPA knows the time-sensitive nature of this request and hopefully, VDACS and I will hear something before the end of February. Mr. Ken Ballinger (Arkion LLC company rep. for Avipel, and my contact: 610-506-3117), says as soon as they hear positive news from EPA they are poised to get labelled stocks of Avipel to distributors in time for spring planting – at least that is the hope. Distributors are encouraged to take orders for Avipel; however, Arkion will not ship product until EPA okays the use of this product.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me should have questions.


R. R. Youngman
Professor and Extension Specialist

Department of Entomology
Virginia Tech
216A Price Hall, MC 0319
Blacksburg, VA 24061

cell: 540-357-2558
Office: 540-231-9118
FAX: 540-231-9131