Black Cutworm

Kevin Ganoe, Area Field Crop Specialist
Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

June 2, 2020

Starting to see some black cutworm activity around the state and I found this one digging around a corn field yesterday with several plants cutoff.  I and others have been finding significant moth catches in our pheromone traps so there are certainly adults around to lay eggs.

 

Black cutworm feeding may include a plant cutoff or the top part of the plant dragged back down into the soil.  Plants may also appear wilted with feeding taking place below the soil surface. A good time to dig around where plants appear to be missing.

 

Any corn field could have black cutworms but some fields tend to be more at risk:

 

    fall plowed - problem less likely

    late spring plowed - problem more likely

    corn following beans - problem more likely

    late planted - problem more likely

    minimum tillage - problem more likely

Reference: https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/fieldcropsipm/insects/black-cutworms.php

 

Threshold is 5% or greater of plants cut.

 

For more info on black cutworm scouting and control:

http://blogs.cornell.edu/whatscroppingup/2020/04/17/nys-ipm-field-corn-pheromone-trapping-network-for-2020-caught-moths-in-mid-april/




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