Last updated: August 25. 2013 2:52AM - 220 Views

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Experts from the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences are available to speak about the first discovery in Ohio of the walnut twig beetle. The insect is known to carry the fungus that causes deadly Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) in walnut trees.

The disease itself hasn't been found at this time, only the insect that can carry it, and only at a single wood-processing business in Butler County in the southwest part of the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which announced the discovery on Monday (12/10).

The following OSU experts can offer insight on the fungus and its implications:

* Nancy Taylor is program director of the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic and is involved with testing suspect walnut samples for TCD. She is based in Columbus. Contact: 614-292-5006, taylor.8@osu.edu

* Dan Herms is a professor in the Department of Entomology and processed the samples that revealed the insect's presence in Butler County. He conducts research and outreach programs on invasive tree pests, including the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle. He is based in Wooster. Contact: 330-202-3506, herms.1@osu.edu

* Cindy Meyer is an agriculture and natural resources educator with Ohio State University Extension based in Butler County. Contact: 513-887-3722, meyer.842@osu.edu

* Amy Stone is an urban and consumer horticulture educator in OSU Extension's Lucas County office. She conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around the state and coordinates the university's Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Team. Stone is based in Toledo. Contact: 419-213-4254, stone.91@osu.edu

* Kathy Smith is OSU Extension's forestry program director. She leads Extension's Ohio Woodland Stewards Program and conducts outreach and engagement programs on invasive species around the state. Smith can talk about TCD's potential impact on forest health and forest resources in Ohio. She is based in Columbus. Contact: 614-688-3136, smith.81@osu.edu

* Eric McConnell is an assistant professor and OSU Extension specialist in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. He has done research estimating the economic impact of TCD and other invasive species in Ohio, and can talk about the disease's potential economic impact on Ohio's forest industries. McConnell is based in Columbus. Contact: 614-292-9838, mcconnell.213@osu.edu

Stone, Smith and colleagues early this year helped produce a free wallet-size identification card for TCD. Details, including how to request it, are at http://go.osu.edu/Qrg.

The team also recently released a free smartphone app that allows users to spot and report invasive species, such as the walnut twig beetle, in Ohio and throughout the Midwest. Learn more, including how to download it, at http://go.osu.edu/Qrj.

An update on TCD and other new plant diseases will be presented at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Ohio State University Nursery Short Course in Columbus, in conjunction with the CENTS conference for landscape, nursery and horticulture professionals.

According to the Ohio Farm Bureau, farmers and other small-scale growers can earn $8 to $10 per pound for black walnuts and sold more than 1.4 million pounds in 2005.


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