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Later Planting Sets Stage for Possible Black Cutworm Injury

  • May 19, 2022

While planting has been slow in 2022, moth flights have been steady across much of the state. Regular flights have been observed through much of the northern two-thirds of the state. Several counties have reported significant moth flights (9 or more moths over a 2-night span). We can use the date of the significant flight to predict potential cutting dates based on degree day predictions.
A few key things to note:
Black cutworm moths are strong migratory insects with northward flights commonly observed from Gulf States into the Midwest from March through May.…

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Spring Moth Trapping Set to Begin April 1

  • March 2, 2022

As in past years, our Moth Trapping Network is set to begin April 1 with our spring migratory insects. We are currently looking for cooperators to monitor both black cutworm and true armyworm traps from April 1 – May 31.

Requirements for trapping:

  • Set up traps provided.
  • Check traps regularly. Ideally, we’d like traps to be checked every other day to help accurately identify significant moth flights, but checking on Monday,

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2020 Insect Numbers Low in Many Areas of the State

  • October 1, 2020

Despite the chaos that 2020 has brought us, the Illinois statewide corn and soybean insect survey was completed this past summer. With the goal of estimating densities of common insect pests in corn and soybean cropping systems throughout the 9 crop reporting districts in Illinois, this is the 9th year the survey has been done (2011, 2013-2020).
Like previous years, 4-5 counties are surveyed in each crop reporting district, with 5 corn and 5 soybean fields sampled in each county.…

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Statewide Corn and Soybean Survey Indicate Lower Insect Populations in 2019

  • November 21, 2019

The Illinois Statewide Corn and Soybean Insect Survey has been occurred in eight of the last nine years (2011, 2013–2019). These surveys have been conducted with the goal of estimating densities of common insect pests in corn and soybean cropping systems. In 2019, 40 counties representing all nine crop reporting districts were surveyed, with five corn and five soybean fields surveyed in each county.
Within the soybean fields surveyed, 100 sweeps were performed on both the exterior of the field (outer 2 rows) and interior (at least 12 rows beyond the field edge) using a 38-cm diameter sweep net.…

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Insect Trapping Update: May 15

  • May 15, 2019

Cooperators around the state are monitoring black cutworm and true armyworm traps this spring.
Black Cutworm
Continued flights have occurred this last week, but at low levels overall. Reports of corn emergence have been trickling in and along with those reports are also those of black cutworm feeding. As a reminder, some management suggestions from Nick Seiter’s 2018 article (

  • Infestations are more likely in later planted corn, as delayed planting means larger cutworm larvae are present at earlier stages of corn development.

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Cooperators sought for Insect Trapping and Field Surveys

  • April 1, 2019

We are starting to look for cooperators that are willing to place and monitor traps for black cutworm and true armyworm this spring and European corn borer, corn earworm, fall armyworm, and western bean cutworm this summer. We provide traps and lures. We ask cooperators to place and check traps several times a week, reporting trap catches to our site.
We will also be looking for cooperators to participate in our summer field surveys as well.…

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Feedback sought on Pest Degree Day Calculator Upgrade

  • February 20, 2019

The Illinois Degree Day calculator has been available to Illinois producers since 2004. Hosted by the Illinois Climate Network (ICN), this pest management tool was developed to help aid producers in monitoring insect development throughout the growing season and aid in pest management decisions.
The calculator uses weather data from 19 network stations across Illinois to provide degree day accumulations and forecasts for 30 agricultural and invasive pests based on long-term averages. While this has been a great resource for many years,…

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And the Survey Says…

  • September 17, 2018

For those that attended Agronomy Day this past August, the title and above graphic may look familiar. As field and research season winds down, we’re able to finish collecting and summarizing data. One of our biggest summer projects is the annual corn and soybean survey. While some of that information was shared at Agronomy Day, the complete results are summarized below.
As a recap, this survey has been carried out across the state for several years (2011,…

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Insect Trapping Update:Week Ending May 11, 2018

  • May 11, 2018

Black cutworm
Black cutworm moth flights continue across much of Illinois. Several counties reported second -and even third- significant moth flights (Madison, Champaign, and Lee). Several counties had near significant flights (Piatt and Coles). It is important to remember that lack of a reported significant flight and subsequent projected cutting dates does not take black cutworm out of the equation in your area. I have had reported of 1st-2nd instar feeding and even a report of 3rd-4th instar cutting in a couple areas of the state.…

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Insect Observations/Trap Data for the Week Ending 4/27/18

  • April 27, 2018

Spring insect activity is off to a slow start, but is expected to pick up with the recent warming trend.
Piatt, Madison, Montgomery, and Sangamon counties all recorded significant moth flights this week. Projected potential cutting dates are identified in the map below. Remember, these dates are just estimates, scouting should occur before and after the potential cutting dates.
True armyworm numbers have been very low. Armyworm traps are just getting going, so reports for this week are broken down into a general area of the state.…

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