Black Cutworm Damage Reported in Soybean and Sweet Corn

Range of soybean damage by black cutworm. (Photo Credit: Dan Emmert)

The “landing spots” for the many black cutworm moths into the state are now being realized. Another encouragement to scout high-risk corn and soybean fields as they emerge.
Black cutworm larvae, some near pupation, were reported cutting soybean seedlings in Southwest Indiana. The river bottom fields, lush with weeds earlier this spring, had lost 4,000 to 8,000 plants/acre from the damage. Because of soybeans ability to compensate for lost plants, and the size of the cutworm larvae, no treatment will be necessary in these fields. Fortunately, the damage was scattered throughout, rather than concentrated in areas of the fields. If replanting, or filling-in, is being considered, the following publication may be of help, click HERE.
In West Central Indiana, black cutworm damage was being reported in one-leaf sweet corn planted into cover crop residues. Most plants had some leaf feeding, and cutting was just beginning. The producer was going to apply a rescue treatment to protect this high-value crop. Pest management at work!
Happy scouting!
Written by: John Obermeyer, Integrated Pest Management Specialist with Purdue University.
Black cutworm larval stages, those on the penny will leaf feed, those on the hand can cut corn. Photo courtesy of Purdue Extension.

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