Pest & Crop


Purdue Cooperative Extension Service


Issue 3, April 17, 2015 • USDA-NIFA Extension IPM Grant


Black Cutworm Moths Blowing Into Indiana – (Christian Krupke and John Obermeyer) -

  • Recent storm systems have brought black cutworms along for the ride.
  • Timing of scouting can be improved by tracking heat unit accumulations, combined with pheromone trap catches.
  • Scouting fields and treating when necessary is more reliable than preventative applications of insecticides.
  • Don’t rely on insecticide-treated seed to prevent economic damage.

Many of our dutiful trapping cooperators throughout the state captured black cutworm moths this past week - refer to the “Black Cutworm Adult Pheromone Trap Report” for captures. This recent flush of moths is attributed to storms that have kept us out of the fields.

Moth arrival, along with the use of heat units to predict the beginning of larval activity, gives us an indication of the potential severity of the problem and locations of concern. Thus, we are able to predict with some degree of accuracy when and where crop damage is most likely to occur based on this information. Refer to future issues of the Pest&Crop as we track heat unit accumulations and predicted damage in your area.

Here’s a question we are often asked: Should one treat for black cutworm before or at planting? Because of the sporadic outbreak nature of this pest, the tried, true, and economic approach to black cutworm management is to scout fields, determine infestation and damage levels, and use a rescue treatment, if needed. Foliar insecticides are effective, especially when applied early (i.e. while cutworms are small and not yet “cutting”). Producers using insecticide-treated seed may have a false sense of security concerning black cutworm control. The systemic activity of these insecticides during the seedling stage should help suppress small larvae feeding on plants. Larger larvae, as with all insects, are more difficult to kill. Coupled with the fact that there is less insecticide in plant tissues at this time, efficacy declines as the spring wears on. The black cutworm flight and egg-laying period spans several weeks and green or weedy fields may attract egg-laying moths over multiple flights. These fields can experience significant damage and stand losses, even when treated seed is used.

Black cutworm mothKey identifier of the black cutworm moth

Black cutworm moth catchSignificant night's catch of black cutworm moths, notice how beat up they are from their trip


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Black Cutworm Adult Pheromone Trap Report

County Cooperator BCW Trapped
Week 1 
4/2/15 - 4/8/15
Week 2 
4/9/15 - 4/15/15
Adams Kaminsky/New Era Ag 0 14
Adams Roe/Mercer Landmark 0 7
Allen Anderson/Syngenta Seed 0 2
Allen Gynn/Southwind Farms 0 1
Allen Kneubuhler/G&K Concepts 0 3
Bartholomew Bush/Pioneer Hybrids 0 0
Boone Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 0 2
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions, Brazil 0  
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions, Bowling Green 0  
Clinton Emanuel/Boone Co. CES 0 0
Clinton Foster/Purdue Entomology 0 0
DeKalb Hoffman/ATA Solutions 0 0
Dubois Eck/Purdue CES 3 27*
Elkhart Kauffman/Crop Tech Inc. 1  
Fayette Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 3 42*
Fountain Mroczkiewicz/Syngenta 2 2
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Rochester 1 15
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Kewana 0 15
Gibson Schmitz/Gibson Co. CES   0
Hamilton Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 0 10*
Hamilton Truster/Reynolds Farm Equipment   1
Hendricks Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 1 24*
Henry Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc., Millville 1 4
Jasper Overstreet/Purdue CES 0 0
Jasper Ritter/Brodbeck Seeds   11
Jay Boyer/Davis PAC 0 1
Jay Shrack/Ran Del Agri Services 0 1
Jay Temple/Jay County CES 0 1
Jennings Bauerle/SEPAC 2 5
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Freelandville 0 0
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Vincennes 0 4
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Oaktown 0 1
Lake Kleine/Kleine Farms 30 1
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Shelby 0 4
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Schneider 0 5
LaPorte Barry/Kingsbury Elevator 0 1
LaPorte Rocke/Agri-Mgmt Solutions    
Miami Early/Pioneer Hybrids 0 0
Miami Myers/Myers Ag Service 0 0
Montgomery Stine/Nicholson Sonsulting    
Newton Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids 1 1
Porter Leuck/PPAC 1 4
Putnam Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 0 5
Randolph Boyer/DPAC 2 0
Rush Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 0 0
Shelby Simpson/Simpson Farms 1 6
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Farmersburg 0 0
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Sullivan E 0 14*
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Sullivan W 0 4
Tippecanoe Bower/Ceres Solutions 0 5
Tippecanoe Nagel/Ceres Solutions 0 21*
Tippecanoe Obermeyer/Purdue Entomology 0 5
Tippecanoe Westerfeld/Monsanto 1 1
Whitley Walker/NEPAC 1 29*

* = Intensive Capture...this occurs when 9 or more moths are caught over a 2-night period

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Armyworm Pheromone Trap Report

County/Cooperator Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12
Dubois/SIPAC Ag Center 0 0                    
Jay/Davis Ag Center 0 0                    
Jennings/SEPAC Ag Center 0 0                    
Knox/SWPAC Ag Center   0                    
LaPorte/Pinney Ag Center 0 0                    
Lawrence/Feldun Ag Center 0 2                    
Randolph/Davis Ag Center 0 0                    
Tippecanoe/Meigs 0 0                    
Whitley/NEPAC Ag Center 0 1                    

Wk 1 = 4/2/15 - 4/8/15; Wk 2 = 4/9/15 - 4/15/15

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Managing Wheat by Growth Stage – (Kiersten Wise) -

The spring is off to a slow start, but wheat is progressing and now is a great time to review the Purdue Extension publication ID-422 “Managing Wheat by Growth Stage”. Herbicide, fungicide, and fertilizer applications are most efficacious when applied at the correct growth stage. This publication describes the key wheat growth stages and provides images to help with accurate growth stage identification. The bulletin also provides a printable one-page table that outlines management decisions by growth stage.

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2015 Purdue Crop Scouting Competition – (Kiersten Wise, Corey Gerber, and John Obermeyer) -

The second annual Purdue Crop Scouting Competition will be held on August 20th at the Purdue Diagnostic Training and Research Center (DTC) at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) in West Lafayette, IN

Indiana high school student teams of 4-6 individuals, and adult team leaders are eligible to participate in the competition. The primary goal of the Crop Scouting Competition is to educate youth about agriculture and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) concepts.

Five teams competed at last year’s event, including Connersville FFA, South Newton FFA, Eastern Hancock FFA, South Central FFA and Rochester FFA.  These teams participated in field scouting exercises in both corn and soybeans and focused on basic crop agronomics, pest ID (weeds, insects, diseases) and scouting techniques. The student teams and coaches enjoyed the hands-on approach to the contest, and appreciated the interaction with Purdue specialists.  The experience was beneficial to helping students understand the “real-world” agricultural applications.

The top three teams were recognized with a certificate. In first place was South Newton FFA; in second place was Eastern Hancock FFA and in third place was South Central FFA.

The 2015 competition will be limited to 8 teams and will feature new hands-on exercises for participants. Funds are available to help with lodging costs for teams. Teams must register by July 1st, 2015 by contacting Lisa Green at

All groups are welcome. Teams can be supervised by industry members, Extension educators, K-12 Agriculture educators, FFA crop judging teams and other FFA groups, or 4-H groups.

The competition will begin in the morning and conclude with a provided lunch.

More information and resources for team training can be provided by contacting  Kiersten Wise at

To date, support for the competition has been provided by the Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Weaver Popcorn, and the Indiana Certified Crop Advisors.

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Total Precipitation April 9-15, 2015

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Contact Information

Purdue Extension Entomology
901 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN, 47907
(765) 494-8761

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