Cornfields in Critical Developmental Stage for Black Cutworm Scouting

May 14, 1999
In issue no. 6 of the Bulletin we offered some projected cutting dates for black cutworms. Central Illinois producers who have cornfields in the 1- to 4-leaf stage of development could begin to see cutting of plants this week by progeny of moths captured in mid-April. Growers in southern Illinois should not delay scouting efforts any longer for potential cutting. By early next week, especially with the recent warm weather, farmers in northern counties should begin to notice increased levels of leaf feeding by black cutworms, and by the end of next week some cornfields may be susceptible to cutting. Again, these projections are based on intense flights of black cutworm moths that occurred in mid-April. Those of you who have battled black cutworms in the past know that cutworm moths migrate into Illinois in waves. Table 1 offers some new projected cutting dates based on flights of moths that occurred in late April. The bottom line: If you have cornfields that are susceptible to cutting (1- to 4-leaf stage), it's time to pay attention to this insect.--Mike Gray

Author: Mike Gray