Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Army cutworms

Don't let the above happen to your wheat or alfalfa field!! As mentioned in last week's publication of CropWatch, four or more cutworms per square foot in an established field (or two or more in a new or stressed stand of wheat or alfalfa) can significantly reduce yield potential. The center image was the approximate number of army cutworms found per square foot in the field on the right. The field on the right is supposed to be a field of winter wheat. Where's the wheat!? Well, some of the seed blew out due to the extremely dry weather that we have had for months now. However, as you can see in the image on the far left, the wheat that did emerge is not being grazed on by the kind of livestock that you could sell. This field is a little too late to be saved. On the other hand, in the spirit of "making lemonade out of lemons", you could make wine. And, yes, these caterpillars will turn into 'miller moths', so there is, I think, a high potential for a large miller moth population this year.