Spotted lanternfly headlines College Exhibits Building at Ag Progress Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The looming threat posed by the invasive spotted lanternfly will take center stage in the College of Agricultural Sciences Exhibits Building and Theatre during Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 14-16.
 
Displays and presentations in the building also will highlight programs related to pond management and bait-fish production, hemp research, animal health, and agricultural policy.
 
Native to Asia, the spotted lanternfly was found for the first time in the United States in Berks County in 2014 and since has spread throughout 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania — a region that the state Department of Agriculture has designated as a quarantine zone. The pest also has been found in Virginia and, most recently, in New Jersey.
 
The planthopper feeds on sap, weakening plants and leaving behind a sugary excrement called honeydew, which promotes the growth of sooty mold — further harming the plant — while attracting other insects and creating a sticky mess that can render outdoor areas unusable. The pest threatens Pennsylvania's grape, tree fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which collectively are worth about $18 billion to Pennsylvania's economy.
 
"Because this is the first population of spotted lanternfly outside Asia, it's difficult to assess the magnitude of the threat it presents, but it is potentially the worst introduced insect pest since the arrival of the gypsy moth nearly 150 years ago," said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. Roush will co-host a spotted lanternfly update with Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding in the College Exhibits Building Theatre on Aug. 14.
 
Visitors to the building also can speak with Penn State experts, learn how to identify the various life stages of spotted lanternfly, and find out how they can help contain and manage lanternfly infestations.
 
Residents from any of the counties under quarantine going to Ag Progress Days or to any other locations inside or outside the quarantine area should inspect their vehicles before traveling to be sure they aren't transporting spotted lanternflies, which are known to be good hitchhikers.
 
More information about spotted lanternfly, the state quarantine and how to report a sighting is available on the Penn State Extension website.
 
Other topics featured in the College Exhibits Building, on Main Street at the Ag Progress Days site, will include the following:
 
• Healthy Ponds, Making Cents with Bait-Fish Production. Visitors can take a walk down the Susquehanna River, name the tributaries, and visit a pond where they can learn about pond management and harvesting minnows as a value-added enterprise. Experts from Penn State's Department of Ecosystem Science and Management will share information about how to establish a successful bait-fish production operation.
 
• Best Practices for Optimum Animal Health. Get an inside look at the latest in veterinary science research. Penn State's Veterinary Extension Team will address mineral supplementation, antibiotic stewardship and managing reproductive health issues to promote healthy animals and identify the financial benefits to the farm.
 
• What is the Potential for Industrial Hemp in Pennsylvania? Visit with the Penn State Hemp Extension Team to discuss the potential uses of the crop, what is being done to develop markets and the current prospects for profitable hemp production in the state. Specialists will share the current legal status of the crop and current production techniques that have proven effective in the field.
 
• Where can your education take you? Did you know there are more job openings in agriculture and related fields each year than qualified graduates to fill them? Prospective students and their families can visit with representatives from the Undergraduate Education Office to learn about College of Agricultural Sciences programs in animal, biomedical, environmental, plant and social sciences. Faculty and staff will answer questions and provide information.
 
• Shirts for Scholars. Visitors can purchase an Ag Progress Days or College of Agricultural Sciences shirt, with proceeds benefiting programs for scholars. Collectable Penn State Dairymen's Club milk bottles also will be available.
 
Schedule of presentations in the College Exhibits Building Theatre:
 
Tuesday, Aug. 14
 
10:30 a.m. - Spotted Lanternfly Update, with Pa. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Dean Rick Roush.
Noon - Battling the Spotted Lanternfly.
1 p.m. - Antibiotic Stewardship: It Can Really Make Cents.
1:30 p.m. - Mineral Supplements for Livestock.
2 p.m. - Is Your Cow Ready to be Bred?
2:30 p.m. - Potential of Industrial Hemp in Pennsylvania.
 
Wednesday, Aug. 15
 
10 a.m. - Pennsylvania House and Senate Ag and Rural Affairs Committees Joint Informational Meeting.
12:30 p.m. - Antibiotic Stewardship: It Can Really Make Cents.
1 p.m. - Animal Composting — presentation followed by a tour to a composting site.
2 p.m. - Policy Issues and the State of Pennsylvania Agriculture — Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson public forum.
 
Thursday, Aug. 16
 
9:30 a.m. - Antibiotic Stewardship: It Can Really Make Cents.
10 a.m. - Is your Cow Ready to be Bred?
11 a.m. - Potential of Industrial Hemp in Pennsylvania.
Noon - Hops Research — presentation followed by a tour to Penn State's research hopyard (free tour tickets available at the corn crib near the top of Main Street).
1 p.m. - Battling the Spotted Lanternfly.
 
Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, 9 miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 14; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 15; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 16. Admission and parking are free.
 
For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website. Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and the event also can be found on Facebook (@AgProgressDays).
 
Media Contacts: 
Last Updated August 01, 2018