Home Indiana Agriculture News Black Cutworm Pressure is On the Way

Black Cutworm Pressure is On the Way

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Black cutworm larvae can be a threat to newly emerged corn plants. Corn growers should scout their fields for the insect. (Purdue Entomology photo/John Obermeyer)

Black cutworm infestation could be an issue for Indiana growers this year, and our delay in fieldwork is making the situation worse. “In looking over the black cutworm and armyworm pheromone reports, it is obvious that many moths have arrived into Indiana. This, coupled with a delayed planting season, increases the likelihood that high-risk fields may experience damage,” said John Obermeyer, Purdue Integrated Pest Mgmt. Specialist.

The late harvest and wet spring have kept many growers from betting their burndown programs going. As a result, fall annual weeds are now carpeting our fields. Eric Miller with Pioneer, state’s, “It is easy to tell which fields did not get a burndown treatment last fall to control fall annual weeds.”

Miller added that the increased black cutworm numbers could mean serious trouble for growers, “As we continue to get pushed out of the field from a burndown standpoint and more of those moths are flying in, the higher the probability of having cutworm issues will be.”

Miller recommended that, when you can get back in your fields, don’t skip the burndown or field preparation and go right to planting. He said, “I would not make drastic changes yet from your normal routine, just have a sense of urgency when things to allow you to get back in the field.” He felt, at this point, growers still have plenty of time to get the crop planted.

The Hoosier Ag Today Planting Weather Forecast from Chief Meteorologist Ryan Martin will be released on Friday. You can also sign up to get a copy e-mailed to you. The forecast is made possible by the Indiana Soybean and Corn Checkoffs and by First Farmers Bank and Trust.