Extremely Low Black Cutworm Moth Catches, Hopefully Good News

Black cutworm pheromone trap cooperators have faithfully reported their week’s catches, but most haven’t been numerically challenged. Refer to this week’s trap report and see very few captures; that has been the case throughout the spring. Comparing moth captures from the previous four years, see graph, it is obvious that black cutworm moth arrival into Indiana has almost been non-existent.

This certainly has not been a “normal” year for weather patterns. Normally, moist (i.e., rain) air current sweeping up from the Gulf States, Texas, and Mexico (i.e., warm) literally lifts these moths into the upper atmosphere and carry them into the Midwest. The direction that these weather systems move and the number of moths captured soon afterward give us an idea of when and how much black cutworm damage will occur. Obviously, this is not an exact science, considering all the possible errors with traps numbers, etc., but it has worked nicely in the past. Will there be any black cutworm damage to corn this spring? We continue to advocate scouting, especially in those late-emerging fields, to “ground truth” the science.

Our thanks to the many that participate in this trapping network. Soon they will get another opportunity with the western bean cutworm moth flight…stay tuned.

 

Black cutworm trap comparison.

Black cutworm trap comparison.

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