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Nursery & Forest

Degree Days

Volume 59 Number 2 Date 05/08/2014

BLACK CUTWORM - The annual black cutworm migration has to date yielded 296 moths in 32 traps, with a cumulative high count of 51 moths reported from Platteville in Grant County. Exactly half of the moths (148 of the 296) arrived on the night of May 6. Based on this latest influx, localized problems are a distinct possibility three to four weeks from now, especially considering spring tillage is only 13% complete statewide and less than 3% of the corn crop has been planted. Agricultural fields which have not been tilled or planted at the time of black cutworm arrival provide preferred habitat for egg laying and are at greater risk of infestation. Larvae resulting from the current migration could begin cutting corn seedlings by May 29 in the southern counties and by June 2 in Central Wisconsin.

TRUE ARMYWORM - Counts in black light and pheromone traps have been very low as of May 7, though higher numbers of armyworms may have arrived along with the black cutworms earlier this week. The first moths of the 2014 season were registered at Janesville on the night of April 21, which was similar to their arrival date last year. Environmental conditions that favor black cutworm outbreaks are also generally conducive for armyworm activity and development. Armyworm outbreaks are usually more common and severe in cool, wet seasons following a drought.

-- Krista Hamilton, DATCP Entomologist