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Issue No. 12, Article 2/June 12, 2009

Black Cutworm Damage Observed in Northern Illinois

As advised in earlier articles in the Bulletin, producers should remain vigilant and continue scouting corn fields for any signs of black cutworm injury. Jim Donnelly, a field advisor for Monsanto Company, indicated on June 8 that sporadic infestations of black cutworms have been observed in Bureau County. In one particular field (first-year corn following soybeans, conventional tillage), Jim observed that about 5% of the corn plants had significant injury and were not likely to recover. Many of the plants, while not cleanly cut off at the soil surface, had considerable stem tissue removed from within the base of the plant, resulting in wilting and dying plants. Jim also found one newly emerged corn field (corn following wheat) with 2% of the plants cut. Bottom line: many corn fields remain at risk for black cutworm damage. Don't neglect to scout for this insect while focusing on soybean planting. This could be a costly mistake. Thanks to Jim Donnelly for sharing his observations.

Black cutworm damage in Bureau County, Illinois, June 8, 2009 (Courtesy of Jim Donnelly, Monsanto Company).

--Mike Gray

Mike Gray

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