No. 4 Article 3/April 15, 2005

Moth Captures Indicate That Some Pests of Concern Are Arriving in Illinois

Ron Hines, the University of Illinois's steadfast monitor for potential pest problems in southern Illinois, operates our first-line warning system for some of the pests of concern in Illinois every year. Ron, a senior research specialist at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, has traps in place to keep track of flights of armyworms, black cutworms, corn earworms, European corn borers, fall armyworms, southwestern corn borers, and "other" moths. He also monitors for Japanese beetles beginning later in the spring, and he will join several Extension educators (crop systems and IPM) in monitoring for western bean cutworms in 2005. Ron also has established some sentinel soybean plots to help keep his eyes trained on the potential arrival of soybean rust. So now you know why we so frequently refer to the information Ron gathers weekly (and occasionally more frequently) and publishes in "The Hines Report".

Thus far, Ron has captured some armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta) moths at three of his trap locations (Pope, Pulaski, and St. Clair counties) and black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) moths at all five of his trap locations (Jefferson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and St. Clair counties). Captures of black cutworms in these traps have not been identified as "intense" (nine or more moths captured over a one- to two-day period) to date, but prevailing winds from the south likely will result in intense captures soon. When such captures occur, we can begin accumulating degree-days to determine the occurrence of cutting by black cutworm larvae (~300 degree-days [base 50°F] from intense capture). If you are monitoring pheromone traps for black cutworms in your area, you can predict cutting injury by entering the appropriate information into the pest degree-day calculator at the WARM Web site.

With corn planting 14% complete statewide and 39% percent complete in the west-southwest crop reporting district as of April 10 ("Current Illinois Weather & Crop Report," Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service), some corn seedlings will be susceptible to injury by early-season insect pests relatively soon. Stay tuned for developments.--Kevin Steffey

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