Trap Counts Are High

We have stressed the importance of keeping accurate field records in many of our previous newsletter issues. We are now encouraging growers to take note of fields with broadleaf weeds, cover crops, or other growth due to insect pheromone traps indicating heavy migration of true armyworm and black cutworm moths into the Midwest.

Migrating black cutworm moths are attracted to fields with significant coverage of winter annuals, particularly broadleaf weeds such as chickweed. The moths lay eggs in these weeds during the spring and the developing larvae move to corn, or even soybeans, when the weeds are killed. Fields with an infestation of chickweed should plan on planting insect-traited corn that controls black cutworm, or scout fields regularly through V6 for black cutworm damage.

True armyworm infestations may develop in wheat fields, cereal rye cover crops and other grass cover crops. Damage from this pest is typically first noticed around the fields adjacent to these areas, as well as fields with corn planted in rye and corn next to wheat or rye fields. True armyworm infestations can consume a lot of corn very quickly, scouting is essential. Wheat growers should also scout for true armyworm as it can cause significant economic loss in wheat.

With high trap counts, we recommend scouting for infestations of these pests and keeping accurate field notes. In areas at high-risk for these pests, especially in the southern part of our footprint where no-till fields are more common, growers may consider adding a pyrethroid insecticide to their burndown application to control weeds and insects in one pass.

Give us a call as you get the planters rolling. Stay safe this spring.

Terry, Dan, Rod and Denny