Entomology & Plant Pathology Weekly Review, March 12


Weekly Review for March 12, 2024

This informal report by the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology is a commentary on insects, diseases, and curiosities division staff encounter on a week-to-week basis. Comments and questions about this report are welcome and can be sent to your respective Inspector.

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Kristy Stultz (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KStultz@dnr.IN.gov

If you’re headed out to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds this week, be sure to stop by booth 637. Entomology & Plant Pathology has lots of great information on various invasive species. The show is open through March 17. We’d love to see you. Don’t forget to scan the code and vote for your favorite booth too!


Eric Biddinger (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBiddinger@dnr.IN.gov 

Yes, warmer weather is creeping in. The grass is greening up. A few bulbs are pushing up and the tree buds are swelling. But it’s barely March!

According to forecasters, we are somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 days ahead of normal. Here in Rochester on Monday we have accumulated 31 growing degree days base 50 (GDD-50) with 47 predicted by Thursday. By comparison, last year we made it to 7 GDD on March 31. Here’s a few tips to help you navigate this early spring weather:

  • Don’t get in a hurry. Even with highs in the 60s, the lows can still dip below freezing. The average last frost date for Indiana is still between mid to late April and in some years has come as late as Mother’s Day.
  • Hold tender plants inside as long as you can.
  • If you must put plants out, use hot houses, low tunnels, protected locations, and other season extending techniques to protect the plants.
  • Watch the forecast for low temperatures and be ready with frost covers for tender plants.
  • If there is any chance you won’t get the covers off first thing in the morning, don’t use plastic! I have seen plants take more heat damage from having plastic sheets left on too long than they would have taken in frost damage if they were not covered at all!
  • When planting seeds, use soil temperature as your guide.

No reports this week

Megan Abraham (Division Director & State Entomologist) - MAbraham@dnr.IN.gov

Eric Bitner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBitner@dnr.IN.gov

Kallie Bontrager (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KBontrager@dnr.IN.gov

Vince Burkle (Assistant Division Director & Nursery Inspector) - VBurkle@dnr.IN.gov

Will Drews (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) WDrews@dnr.IN.gov

Ren Hall (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) RHall@dnr.IN.gov

Phil Marshall (State Forest Health Specialist) - PMarshall@dnr.IN.gov

Angela Rust (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - ARust@dnr.IN.gov

Bonnie Spindler (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) BSpindler@dnr.IN.gov

Jared Spokowsky (Nursery Inspetor & Compliance Officer)Jspokowsky@dnr.IN.gov

Caydee Terrell (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - CTerrell@dnr.IN.gov

Diane Turner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer)DTurner2@dnr.IN.gov

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