No. 3 Article 4/April 9, 2004

The Arrival of Black Cutworm Moths Continues

In the Bulletin last week ("Continuing Information About Moth Captures"), we reported moth counts from Ron Hines, senior research specialist at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, who monitors several traps for moths during the growing season and reports his findings in "The Hines Report." Included in his traps were several black cutworm moths and one armyworm moth.

Since then, we've had several other reports of black cutworm moths being found in traps in Illinois. Moths were captured during the last weekend in March in Piatt County (trap monitored by Doug Gucker) and Sangamon County (Matt Montgomery, trap monitored by Brian and Lori Bell). Mike Roegge also reported three significant moth flights--two in Adams County (Sam Markert, Camp Point) on March 29 and April 6, and one in Brown County (Terry Beyhmer, Mt. Sterling) on April 6.

Degree-days can be an effective tool to help determine when to start scouting for black cutworm larvae. Degree-days can be used to predict larval development and when the first cutting of plants may begin (Table 2). The accumulation of degree-days begins with a significant moth flight (nine moths caught over a 2-day period). If you know when a significant moth flight occurs in your area, you can determine when potential cutting may occur near you by using our degree-day calculator. Unfortunately, at this time the Web site is only providing users 1- and 2-week projections of degree-days; we hope to have this remedied in the next few days to provide a projected cutting date. In 2 weeks, degree-day accumulations are estimated to be 98 degree-days. This would signify that egg hatch is just beginning in that area. We'll be sure to update expected cutting dates for these counties in the Bulletin next week. Until then, if you have any questions or want to report any trap catches, feel free to contact me by email ( or by phone (217333-6652).--Kelly Cook

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