Social Links Search




Protecting corn fields - Scout for insect pests!

Protecting corn fields - Scout for insect pests!

By Jamie Martin

As May gives way to June, farmers are reminded to conduct thorough scouting of their corn fields to identify and manage two significant insect pests: black cutworm and western corn rootworm.

University of Illinois Extension field crops entomologist Nick Seiter emphasizes the importance of detecting black cutworm infestations early. These larvae, capable of cutting corn plants at the base, pose a threat to fields with poor winter weed control, particularly those with winter annual broadleaf weeds. Despite previous high moth flights, actual damage from black cutworms has been limited.

Effective scouting involves first identifying signs of black cutworm damage, such as plant cutting. Scraping away the soil or residue around damaged plants can reveal the larvae, aiding

in confirmation of infestation. Once 2 to 5% of plants have been cut and cutworms are present, consider applying insecticides across the field.

Additionally, farmers should be vigilant for western corn rootworm activity, with egg hatch progressing in central Illinois and anticipated in northern areas by early June. Root feeding by these pests is expected to continue until the end of June, although delayed planting may reduce their impact.

Understanding the adaptability of western corn rootworms to control measures is vital for effective management. Assessing control effectiveness this season will inform future strategies. Given the historical economic damage caused by western corn rootworms, early detection and proactive management are essential for preserving crop health and maximizing yields.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-eugenesergeev

Categories: National

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top