Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Be on the Lookout for Black Cutworm in 2016

Spring storms help black cutworm moths migrate back into the Midwest. If you are interested in black cutworm counts from pheromone traps, visit the resources below:
·      Illinois: follow Kelly Estes, University of Illinois, State Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator on Twitter at @ILPestSurvey 

Picture of black cutworm moths stuck to a sticky card taken from a trap via Kelly Estes.
Based upon captures of moths in pheromone traps (like the one above), projected cutting dates are offered. 
To date, here are the Pest Alerts issues in Illinois:

Pest Alert: Significant Black Cutworm flight in Christian County. Projected potential cutting date: May 13

Pest Alert: Significant Black Cutworm flight in Piatt and Woodford County. Projected potential cutting date: May 14

Pest Alert: Significant Black Cutworm flight in McDonough and Brown County. Projected potential cutting date: May 17/18

The projected date is when potential injury could occur via cutworm. This was provided by Kelly Estes.

If you have a Black Cutworm trap or if you have seen moths in your "neck of the woods" in Illinois, you can make your own prediction of projected cutting dates by using the 
Illinois State Water Survey - Daily Pest Degree-Day Calendar The prediction of projected cutting dates is based off the capture of 8 or more moths over two days.

Black Cutworm Moth Control Options:

1.)  Seed treatment: PowerShield
® on Burrus corn hybrids consists of an insecticide, multiple fungicides, nematicide, and biologicals.  The higher rate of Poncho® or Cruiser® insecticide in our corn seed treatment ensures greater systemic protection against early insects, such as black cutworm. For more information, refer to the Burrus Seed Treatments.

2.)  Transgenic Corn Bt traits:  Most of Burrus Bt traited corn hybrids ending with (AMXT, AMX, AM, AMT, 3111, 3220, 3122, Q) control back cutworm.  Refer to the 
Handy Bt Trait Table published by Drs. Chris DiFonzo (Michigan State University) and Eileen Cullen (University of Wisconsin) to determine if a Bt hybrid offers black cutworm protection.

3.) SCOUT! Cutworm larvae will be found curled up just beneath the soil surface near clipped plants. Scouting requires weekly field visits. Five plants should be examined in each of 20 locations scattered throughout a field. If clipping reduces stand by 3% and larvae are still present, University entomologists recommend a rescue application of insecticide.  

A head capsule chart may also be used during scouting. Simply collect 10 larvae and measure the width of their head capsule using the included University chart.  If larvae tend to be at the seventh instar (seventh growth stage), and the grower will rely on someone else to spray the field, a rescue treatment may not prove beneficial.  Such larvae only have a few days left to feed, and if a custom applicator cannot spray the field within those few days – an insecticide application may miss pupating larvae. (Dr. Matt Montgomery)

"Dr. Eileen Cullen, University of Wisconsin Extension Entomologist, takes you into the field to show you when to scout and how to manage key pests of Wisconsin field crops" 

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