By Bruce Potter
IPM Specialist SW MN
The late spring has had one advantage. Migration of insect pests from the south into Minnesota has been delayed.
The black cutworm, one of the migrant pest species that sporadically causes problems in Minnesota crops, reduced stands in some 2011 and 2012 corn fields. The females prefer to lay eggs in un-worked fields where areas of winter annual or early spring germinating weeds, common lambsquarters for example, occur.
This spring, 70 intrepid cooperators across southern MN are manning
pheromone traps to detect black cutworm moths migrating into Minnesota. Based on when and where moths are captured, potential damage can be predicted. We will
provide alerts if any significant moth flights are observed this spring. We cannot predict damage from other cutworm species that overwinter here.
To this point in the 2013 spring, weather systems have not been favorable for migration and very few moths have been captured. This could change with the next thunderstorm. Depending on how soon they arrive, immigrating black cutworms could find plenty of locations to lay eggs because of the delay in spring tillage.
This spring, you can view black cutworm trap captures and a
weekly report at: http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/ResearchandOutreach/PestManagement/CutwormNetwork/index.htm.