Update on Black Cutworm Projected Cutting Dates for Illinois
Black cutworm moths continue their northward migration into Illinois and other areas of the Corn Belt. Kelly Estes, Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the state, shared with me projected cutting dates for the following counties: Fayette – May 27, Pike – May 22, Edgar – May 28, Piatt – May 21, Logan – May 22, Menard – May 22, and Warren – June 6. As corn begins to emerge, producers are encouraged to look for early signs of leaf feeding. Seedling corn plants in the 1 to 4 leaf stage of development are most susceptible to cutting. Fields at most risk include those with significant infestations of winter annual weeds. With the delays in planting this season, many producers will be in a catch-up mode and may neglect to scout fields with corn plants that are beginning to emerge. Don’t make this mistake. It could be costly this season with the weedy fields and heavy moth flights in some areas. Scouting and treatment decisions for this insect pest need to be made on a field by field basis.