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Black Cutworm Moth Flight Beginning

  • April 23, 2018

Soil temperatures and field activity are increasing along with moth migration from the south. Insect traps (figure 1) are out around the state and we’ve been capturing both true armyworm and black cutworm moths for over a week. In fact, we recently had our first significant black cutworm moth flights recorded in Montgomery and Champaign counties (figure 2).  We expect activity to increase with both of these insects over the coming weeks. As both corn and soybean planting progress,…

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Increased Insect Densities Reflected in Annual Corn and Soybean Survey

  • August 28, 2017

 
Thirty-six counties representing the nine crop reporting districts were surveyed at the end of July/beginning of August as part of our annual statewide corn and soybean survey. The surveys were performed by sampling five corn and five soybean fields per county. For the past several years (2011, 2013–2017), surveys in corn and soybean fields have been conducted with the goal of estimating densities of common insect pests. The estimates provided in this article should not be considered a substitute for scouting individual fields and making informed pest management decisions—even areas of the state that appear to be at low risk could have contained fields with high densities of a given insect pest.…

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Insect Briefs – June 30

  • June 30, 2017

Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are back. Reports statewide indicate Japanese beetles are here (and in some locations, in very high numbers.) With corn starting to tassel and getting close to tassel, it’s important to remember, even though densities may appear to be extremely high, the average density of beetles across the field may be below levels of economic concern. An insecticidal treatment should be considered during silking if:

  • There are 3 or more beetles per ear,

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Insect Snapshots from the Field

  • June 9, 2017

Just a quick overview of some insect issues presenting themselves recently.

True Armyworm
Lots of reports of armyworm being found in wheat and corn. With reports of wheat harvest starting/getting close, reports of armyworm in corn seem to be taking over. I’ve seen a range of larvae stages from 2nd-4th instars. Injury to the whorl and ragged leaf margins is usually noticed around field margins first.  Armyworm larvae are night feeders and will usually spend the day in soil cracks,…

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Impressive Moth Flights across Midwest

  • April 28, 2017

Impressive moth flights have not only kept the Illinois insect monitoring network cooperators busy, but neighboring states are reporting lots of black cutworm and true armyworm moth activity as well. The current forecast and planting progress has raised questions about the potential for these pests in the coming weeks.
With the assistance of University of Illinois Extension educators, producers and industry volunteers, nearly 60 trap sites have been established across Illinois. Captures of both black cutworm and true armyworm have been common across the state.…

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Cooperators Sought for Insect Trapping Network

  • March 13, 2017

Despite the snow falling outside of my window this morning, plans continue for the upcoming survey season. Mother Nature has hinted at spring with temperatures in the 70’s just last week and its time to start thinking about spring insect trapping.
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.…

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Corn Earworm, European Corn Borer, Fall Armyworm, or Western Bean Cutworm: Which One Is Causing the Injury I’m Finding on My Corn Ears?

  • September 16, 2016

Several questions about injury on corn ears has made it way to my desk the past week.

Insect injury to corn ear (photo courtesy of Duane Frederking).
Damaged ear tips, missing kernels, and fungal pathogens are all being reported. Several insect pests in Illinois could be the culprit. Corn earworm, fall armyworm, European corn borer, and western bean cutworm are pests of Illinois cornfields. Their larvae all feed on the ears of corn plants.…

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How can we improve your experience with the Pest Degree Day Calculator?

  • August 25, 2016

Insects require a certain amount of heat to develop from one stage in their life cycle to another (eggs to larvae to pupae to adults). Degree-days measure insect growth and development in response to daily temperatures. The accumulation of these degree-days can be measured over a period of time and used to estimate growth and predict insect development. Calculating degree-days allows us to predict when significant biological events such as the appearance of insect pests may occur or when they may reach a life stage that is damaging to a particular crop.…

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A Mixed Bag of Insect Densities in 2016 Corn and Soybean Surveys

  • August 22, 2016

Once again, statewide surveys of insects in corn and soybean fields were conducted during the summer of 2016.  A total of 33 counties were surveyed this year. The surveys were performed during the first week of August by sampling five corn and five soybean fields per county. For the past several years (2011, 2013–2016), surveys in corn and soybean fields have been conducted with the goal of estimating densities of common insect pests. Densities are reported for the various USDA crop reporting districts of Illinois to highlight portions of the state where the risk of economic insect damage is greatest.…

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Insect Briefs – Soybean Aphids, Syrphid Flies, and More

  • July 20, 2016

–  Russ Higgins, University of Illinois Extension reports finding a couple of soybean aphids in LaSalle County this week. This follows some earlier reports in July of soybean aphids being found in low numbers in Iowa. Despite some of the recommendations floating around, direct yield loss from soybean aphid feeding does not occur when the first (or five or ten) aphids begin feeding. Today’s soybean varieties are equipped to handle minor challenges, including a few aphids.…

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