Property Owners with at Least 50 Acres Can Help State Ag Dept.

Farmers in the area who want to help the state Department of Agriculture fight gypsy months can sign up now for the annual suppression program. Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick says applications are available now and the deadline to return them is Aug. 31. To be part of it you've got to have at least 50 contiguous acres. Agriculture officials say the gypsy moth is one of the most serious pests in the state's forest. It's a non-native, invasive insect that feeds on 500 species of trees and shrubs, including West Virginia hardwoods. Defoliation can kill trees and make them more vulnerable to other pests and diseases.