Cutworm problems continue across Iowa

Black cutworms continue to cause damage to cornfields across Iowa. Extension crop specialists Joel DeJong (LeMars) and George Cummins (Charles City) reported on June 4 that black cutworms are causing more problems in northwestern and north central Iowa than in recent years. Extension crop specialists John Kennicker (Nevada) and Jim Fawcett (Marion) have observed fields that had to be replanted because the black cutworms reduced the plant stand to almost nothing. Also, black cutworm adults are still being captured in traps in Ames, suggesting that eggs are being laid. Therefore, fields with corn not yet emerged may be at risk, especially if weeds are growing in the field. By now it is apparent that the black cutworm has caused more problems this year than in the past 8-10 years. These problems may well continue for several more weeks. Any young cornfield with plants in the V5 stage or smaller that has not been scouted for leaf feeding or cut plants should be scouted now.

Field heavily damaged by black cutworms. Arrows show plants not yet cut.

Leaf feeding is an early warning sign of potential cutting from cutworms.

This article originally appeared on page 109 of the IC-486(13) -- June 11, 2001 issue.

Updated 06/10/2001 - 1:00pm