Black Cutworms Moving North

Pioneer recommends early scouting to monitor any potential outbreaks.

Recent university reports show significant captures of black cutworms throughout the Corn Belt, and there are indications the pest is moving further north into Midwestern cornfields. Experts from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, recommend growers begin monitoring fields closely now for signs of black cutworms – ranging from small pinholes the pest may have left behind to the actual cutting of the corn stalk.

Recent wet conditions and southerly winds this spring have been conducive for black cutworms to move further into the Midwest," says Paula Davis, Pioneer senior manager for insect and disease traits. "Several Midwestern universities have reported significant black cutworm captures in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa."

Corn plants are the most susceptible from emergence to V5 stage. Once the plant emerges, begin scouting for black cutworm problems. Black cutworms will cut the plant, resulting in stand loss or irregular stands. "Following the first cutting, growers should continue to monitor their crop," says Davis. "The threat for black cutworms can last up to three weeks after the first cutting date."

Once black cutworms reach the fourth instar, approximately one-half inch long, they can cut the plant. Black cutworms also can create small shot holes in the leaves of corn plants. No-till fields or fields with annual or perennial weeds are at higher risk for black cutworms. Egg-laying females are attracted to these areas. Additionally, soybean stubble is more attractive than corn stalks.

The suggested threshold for considering an insecticide treatment has been lowered recently due to higher corn commodity prices. Consider using an insecticide treatment if 1 percent to 2 percent of plants are cut and larvae are present. For additional information on timing an insecticide treatment, retailers can contact Pioneer agronomist or other seed experts.

"At this point, grower concerns have been minimal in northern Iowa. This doesn’t mean a grower should quit monitoring. It is important to regularly monitor your corn crop," says Chris Doud, Pioneer Iowa agronomist. "Growers need to walk their fields, inspect their crop emergence, and take stand counts. If a grower suspects a problem, they should start by digging in the soil to look for cutworms. Black cutworms oftentimes can be found in the surrounding soil profile near corn plants during the day and are more prevalent feeders at night or on overcast days when temperatures are cooler."

Pioneer offers hybrids with Herculex I, the only Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) trait that helps control western bean cutworm and black cutworm.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementUpdates on Glyphosate Use in the EU and Bayer/Monsanto
June 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the latest important developments on these crop protection fronts. Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Names Protassium+ Sales Director
June 28, 2016
Compass Minerals, the producer of Protassium+ sulfate of potash, has named Scott Johnson director of sales for Protassium+ North America. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More