While corn planting is late in many areas and emergence has just begun, growers should be mindful of the threat of black cutworms. Missouri Extension Entomologist Wayne Bailey says there have been sightings of black cutworms in Missouri. He’s not concerned about an explosion in the number of those worms, but he says they could do a lot of damage to small corn. Bailey tells Brownfield Ag News, “They’re going to grow in size and so if you happen to plant and the corn is just now peeking out and you have large worms, they can do a lot of damage really fast.”
As farmers know, cutworms can cut plants above AND below ground. Bailey says, “We use a threshold of about a 2-percent cutting in a field. We’d go ahead and probably treat that field to take out the black cutworm if we didn’t have an insecticide down or a seed treatment down.”
Bailey tells Brownfield that True Army Worms are also a threat in Missouri, and perhaps other areas, to fescue and wheat. They’ve been spotted in some pastures.