Western Bean Cutworm Counts High

Environmental conditions are increasing insect pest and disease pressure among crops in our footprint. We are specifically concerned about western bean cutworm given last years’ damage and high counts this year.

Western bean cutworm
Pheromone trapping counts for western bean cutworm moths are unusually high, in the hundreds. We encourage you to scout if you are north of highway 114 in Indiana and 30, even Bt-traited corn. High-risk areas include sandy, light-textured soils and fields with a history of western bean cutworm. Moth emergence and egg laying began last week and will peak in the middle of July.  We suggest considering treatment when 5% of plants have egg masses and time insecticide application for when 90-95% of tassels have emerged. Please give us a call with any questions you have about western bean cutworm.

European corn borer and Japanese beetle
Keep scouting for European corn borer, especially in conventional corn. Foliar feeding injury resembles shot holes. First-brood rescue treatment could be needed when 50 percent or more of stand is infested and larvae have not tunneled into the stalk. Larvae of the first-brood pupate in the stalks and emerge again as adult moths in late-July and early-August. Japanese beetles in soybeans have been reported. Treatment is rarely needed but should be considered when there is 50% defoliation.

Corn disease scouting guidelines:
The recommendations below are summarized from several Midwestern universities and provide a basis for fungicide application for disease management.

  • For susceptible or moderately susceptible hybrids, a fungicide application should be considered if disease is present on the 3rd leaf below the ear or higher on 50% of plants before or at tasseling
  • On intermediate hybrids:  consider a foliar fungicide if the field has a history of disease, if the previous crop was corn with at least 35% of the ground covered with residue, if disease is present on the third leaf below the ear or higher on 50% of the plants prior to tasseling, and if warm and humid weather has persisted
  • On moderately-resistant to resistant hybrids:  foliar fungicides generally are not recommended, but scouting is important to confirm that diseases are not present

As always, give us a call if you have questions when you scout.

Terry, Dan, Rod and Dennis