Scouting is paramount, says a Missouri Extension entomologist, because true Armyworms have been found in fescue pastures and they are also threatening wheat crops. Wayne Bailey says Armyworms usually appear in fescue fields two weeks before being found in wheat fields, that’s why scouting now is so important.
Armyworms can strip pastures and hayfields, feeding at night. Bailey says they can strip the leaves from wheat which stops the filling of seed heads AND they can remove seed heads completely which is much more serious.
“If they do remove the wheat heads, as a larger worm, they will often take about 2-to-3-percent the first night and then about 50% or so the next two nights so that the whole field is defoliated.”
He says growers have got to get out of the truck and look at the base of fescue and wheat. He says spraying fescue is easier because in spraying wheat, farmers have to be aware of pre-harvest intervals.
Affected hay can be cut for forage as an alternative to spraying.