Western bean cutworm is on the move


Western bean cutworm is on the move

Western bean cutworm hatched egg mass (Photo credit: UNL CropWatch)

Higher-than-normal levels of western bean cutworm are being reported in parts of the western Corn Belt.

John Mick, a Pioneer agronomist in south-central Nebraska. says the corn pest has also expanded its range in recent years.

“Traditionally the western bean cutworm is a pest that follows the Platte River corridor,” Mick says. “What we’ve noticed in the last five to seven years is that it has spread farther south, into the Little Blue River basin and the Big Blue River basin.”

Mick says southern corn rust is also picking up steam.

“Producers kind of look for that one as a bell-ringer, if you will, on making that decision to apply a fungicide—because southern rust can really build to alarming levels and cause some significant, not only yield loss, but also standability concerns for producers.”

Mick says the decision to treat with fungicide is being complicated this year by the wind damage in many fields.

AUDIO: John Mick