Western Bean Cutworm Moths Flying In

by Greg LaBarge, Fulton County

Traps for Western Bean Cutworm have been out for a couple of weeks and the first evidence of moth flights have been seen in the period of June 29th through July 7. Traps are out in Defiance, Fulton, Putnam and Van Wert County. Remember 2010 was the first year damage was identified in Fulton and Defiance Counties and that damage was not considered yield limiting.

Corn which is in the V(-V10 stage (around waist high) would be fields to target with scouting. You can put fields planted to certain genetics lower in the priority due to effectiveness of those in controlling WBC larvae. Those genetics are transgenic hybrids with the Cry1F gene will offer adequate to near-complete control of WBCW. These include Herculex I and Herculex Xtra, as well as SmartStax a new gene, Vip3A
from Syngenta also offer control of WBCW.

Scouting procedures were in the 2011-20 issue of C.O.R.N.:

Scouting for eggs and larvae should begin when adult catches occur on consecutive nights.  Inspect 20 plants in 5 random locations throughout a field.  Female moths prefer to lay eggs on the uppermost leaves which are still vertical in orientation, so those leaves should be inspected thoroughly.

During winter meetings we shared a video on scouting for WBCW eggs and larvae from Purdue. To review that video click here.

If western bean cutworm eggs are found, please contact your County Extension Educator.

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