Armyworm infestations in Upper Midwest

Armyworms are infesting fields in the Upper Midwest.

University of Minnesota Extension Integrated Pest Management specialist Bruce Potter tells Brownfield the pest is mostly being found in corn planted into rye cover crops.

“Kind of a widespread area across southern Minnesota up into west-central Minnesota. It’s not every field by any means, but it’s something that people definitely need to be aware of.”

He says farmers should be able to see larvae feeding on corn, and warns soybeans planted into a rye cover crop could also be susceptible.

“Armyworms tend to feed almost exclusively on grasses, but if you kill the cover crop off it will have to feed off the soybeans to try to survive.”

Potter is aware of armyworms being found in northern Iowa too and says moths have been tracked all the way to the Canadian border.

He also points out this is a different species of armyworm than the insect that caused widespread damage late last summer into the fall.

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