Pest & Crop


Purdue Cooperative Extension Service


Issue 7, May 14, 2015 • USDA-NIFA Extension IPM Grant


Black Cutworm: Now is the Time to Scout – (John Obermeyer) -

Wow, the last week of heat has really driven up the black cutworm development model. See the following map, most of Indiana should NOW be scouting emerged cornfields, especially in high-risk fields. Significant black cutworm leaf feeding and cutting of corn seedling begins about 300 heat units (base 50ºF). The following videos may be helpful, especially to understand how many variables must “line-up” for black cutworm to be an economic problem.

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Black Cutworm Larval Development


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VIDEO - Black Cutworm: Midwest Arrival and Threat to Corn – (Christian Krupke and John Obermeyer) -

Black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) moths are “pushed” into the Midwest every spring from the Southwest, and females are attracted to certain fields, e.g., chickweed laden, for egg-laying. Cooperators throughout Indiana monitor their annual arrival, and density, with pheromone traps. Once black cutworm hatch, their larval development is dependent on a food source and heat. They say “timing is everything,” and this is certainly true with black cutworm arrival, weed control, larval development, and planting date. In today’s fast-moving pace of spring planting, corn usually “outgrows” the cutworm, before larger larvae can cause significant damage.

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VIDEO - Black Cutworm 2: High Risk Corn and Management Considerations – (Christian Krupke and John Obermeyer) -

Black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon), a long-time corn pest in the Midwest, is generally a problem today only in late-planted corn. Timing of winter-annual weed control, e.g., chickweed, is important concerning black cutworm egg-laying and larval development. Some traited corn and seed-applied insecticides have suppressive activity against small cutworm but not larger larvae. Scouting the field is the only way to know if problems exist, especially catching the damage early before plants are killed or delayed in growth. Needed rescue foliar insecticides, if applied in a timely manner, are very effective in controlling black cutworm.

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Black Cutworm Moth Catching is Over, Now It's "Worm Time" – (John Obermeyer) -

  • Thanks to the pheromone trap cooperators!
  • Plenty of intensive moth captures this season.
  • According to heat unit accumulations, NOW is the time to be scouting!
  • Get muddy in the field, replanting is not a good option at this point.

Every spring, dozens of cooperators throughout the state put forth considerable effort in trapping for the arrival and intensity of black cutworm moths. I’m personally indebted to these faithful bug counters, hoping you also appreciate their efforts as reported in the “Black Cutworm Adult Pheromone Trap Report.” If you recognize a name or two on this list of reporters, by county, please thank them!

This year’s trap total, compared to the previous four, looks mediocre. Within these averages are many intensive moth captures over the six weeks of monitoring, follow up this moth arrival with larval damage scouting. Using the larval development model (see the accompanying “Black Cutworm Development Map”) it allows us to alert pest managers to be scouting emerging corn.

Black cutworm moth trap comparisons 2011-2015.Black Cutworm Moth Trap Comparisons 2011-2015

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Asiatic Garden Beetle Grub is Back – (John Obermeyer) -

A call from Troy Jenkins, North Central Co-op, this past week alerted us to the fact that Asiatic garden beetle grubs are making their presence felt in course-textured soils of fields in north central and northeastern counties. Seed applied insecticides have little effect in preventing these grubs from feeding on corn roots, more importantly the mesocotyl. Unfortunately there is no rescue treatment available. Damaged plants, if growing points aren’t compromised, may recover somewhat if grubs soon pupate (i.e., stop feeding) and ample moisture is available. Don’t let the size of the small grubs fool you, they are like grubs on steroids!

Japanese beetle (left) and Asiatic garden beetle (right) grubs compared in size.Japanses beetle (left) and Asiatic garden beetle (right) grubs compared in size.

Japanese beetle (left) and Asiatic garden beetle (right) heads compared, NOTE the small, white Japanese beetle (left) and Asiatic garden beetle (right) heads compared, NOTE the small, white "pouch" on the AGB grub.


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Black Cutworm Adult Pheromone Trap Report

County Cooperator BCW Trapped
Week 1 
4/30/15 - 5/6/15
Week 2 
5/7/15 - 5/13/15
Adams Kaminsky/New Era Ag 15 6
Adams Roe/Mercer Landmark 28* 12
Allen Anderson/Syngenta Seed 4 17*
Allen Gynn/Southwind Farms 5 5
Allen Kneubuhler/G&K Concepts 10 12
Bartholomew Bush/Pioneer Hybrids 0 0
Boone Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 21* 11*
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions, Brazil 0 0
Clay Bower/Ceres Solutions, Bowling Green 0 0
Clinton Emanuel/Boone Co. CES 4 3
Clinton Foster/Purdue Entomology 3 2
DeKalb Hoffman/ATA Solutions 1 2
Dubois Eck/Purdue CES 16 11
Elkhart Kauffman/Crop Tech Inc. 40* 56*
Fayette Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 24*  
Fountain Mroczkiewicz/Syngenta 54* 19*
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Rochester 6 13
Fulton Jenkins/N. Central Coop-Kewana 8 25
Gibson Schmitz/Gibson Co. CES 0 0
Hamilton Campbell/Beck's Hybrids 10* 10*
Hamilton Truster/Reynolds Farm Equipment 0 0
Hendricks Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 77* 43*
Henry Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc., Millville 6  
Jasper Overstreet/Purdue CES 0 2
Jasper Ritter/Brodbeck Seeds 40* 33*
Jay Boyer/Davis PAC 8 15*
Jay Shrack/Ran Del Agri Services 7 0
Jay Temple/Jay County CES 4 7
Jennings Bauerle/SEPAC 15* 12
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Freelandville 1 0
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Vincennes 5 0
Knox Bower/Ceres Solutions, Fritchton 2 0
Lake Kleine/Kleine Farms 17 28*
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Shelby 1 3
Lake Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids, Schneider 20* 21*
LaPorte Barry/Kingsbury Elevator 4 6
LaPorte Rocke/Agri-Mgmt Solutions, Wanatah 2 13
LaPorte Rocke/Agri-Mgmt Solutions, LaCrosse 2  
Miami Early/Pioneer Hybrids 0 0
Miami Myers/Myers Ag Service    
Montgomery Stine/Nicholson Sonsulting 4 7
Newton Moyer/Dekalb Hybrids 2 4
Porter Leuck/PPAC 8 17*
Putnam Nicholson/Nicholson Consulting 2 6
Randolph Boyer/DPAC 0 0
Rush Schelle/Falmouth Farm Supply Inc. 0  
Shelby Simpson/Simpson Farms 8 7
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Farmersburg 14 9
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Sullivan E 18* 12*
Sullivan Bower/Ceres Solutions, Sullivan W 7 5
Tippecanoe Bower/Ceres Solutions 7 21*
Tippecanoe Nagel/Ceres Solutions 61* 23*
Tippecanoe Obermeyer/Purdue Entomology 4 2
Tippecanoe Westerfeld/Monsanto 3 2
Whitley Walker/NEPAC 78* 73*

* = 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 1 0 2 1            
Jay/Davis Ag Center 0 0 2 0 4 1            
Jennings/SEPAC Ag Center 0 0 0 0 1 0            
Knox/SWPAC Ag Center   0 0 0 1 0            
LaPorte/Pinney Ag Center 0 0 3 0 17 35            
Lawrence/Feldun Ag Center 0 2 0 1 0 11            
Randolph/Davis Ag Center 0 0 0 0 0 0            
Tippecanoe/Meigs 0 0 1 0 0 0            
      7 548 406            
Whitley/NEPAC Ag Center 0 1 5 2 17 25            
Whitley/NEPAC Ag Center (Hartstack)           792            

Wk 1 = 4/2/15 - 4/8/15; Wk 2 = 4/9/15 - 4/15/15; Wk 3 = 4/16/15 - 4/22/15; Wk 4 = 4/23/15-4/29/15;
Wk 5 = 4/30/15-5/6/15; Wk 6 = 5/7/15-5/13/15

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Total Precipitation May 7 - May 13, 2015

total precipitation

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Contact Information

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

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