Issue No. 4, Article 3/April 20, 2007
More Captures of Black Cutworm Moths
Mike Roegge, crop systems extension educator in Quincy, reported an intense capture of black cutworm moths (9 or more captured in pheromone traps in one or two nights) on April 13 and 14. Kelli Bassett, natural resources management extension educator in Hillsboro, also reported an intense capture on those dates. Plugging April 14 into the degree-day calculator indicates that cutting activity (accumulation of 300 degree-days from the date of intense capture) should be evident in the Springfield and Perry areas in mid-May. It is important to remember that black cutworm females prefer to lay eggs on the leaves of winter annual and perennial weeds, although they occasionally will lay eggs on crop residue. Female black cutworm moths rarely lay eggs on bare soil.
As temperatures increase and field activity, including corn planting, resumes, most of the focus will be on getting the crops into the ground. However, these early flights of black cutworms suggest that we should remain on the lookout for early instar larval feeding activity (non-economic pinholes) and be prepared for cutting by older instars (third or larger). We'll share more about control of black cutworm larvae in a near-future issue of the Bulletin.--Kevin Steffey