Don’t Let Your Guard Down On Fall Armyworm, Just Yet

By:  Andy Michel, Curtis Young, CCA, Aaron Wilson, Kelley Tilmon, Mark Sulc

Fall armyworm caterpillars, photo courtesy of Mark Badertscher.

Last week, we discussed the possibility of a cold snap limiting any future fall armyworm outbreaks. We did have some fairly low temperatures last week—most areas had 40 to 60 straight hours of temperatures below 65oF (this was the temperature when mortality significantly impacted fall armyworm larvae).  Today, several OSU extension educators have noticed a very large number of adult moths caught in our expanded trap network.  Continue reading

Predictions for Round 2 of Fall Armyworm

By:  Andy Michel, Kelly Tilmon, Curtis Young, Mark Sulc, Aaron Wilson

“Could Ohio really face another generation of fall armyworm in the next few weeks?” This has been the most frequent question from many of our stakeholders—and rightfully so given the damage we have already seen in forage and turf.  Fall armyworm (FAW) is normally a tropical insect and can reproduce very fast in warm temperatures. In fact, our extension educators found fall armyworm egg masses in the field last week.  Whether or not a new generation of caterpillars will cause damage largely depends on one factor: temperature. Continue reading

Managing Forage Stands Damaged by Fall Armyworm

By:  Mark Sulc

Alfalfa Damaged Field, Photo Courtesy of Mark Badertscher

A severe and fall armyworm outbreak developed across Ohio and neighboring states. It has caused serious destruction in many forage fields. For more complete details on this pest, including how to scout for this pest and options for control, see the articles posted at https://forages.osu.edu/forage-management/pests-diseases.

This article addresses how to manage forage stands damaged by the fall armyworm. Continue reading

Unusual Fall Armyworm Outbreaks are Taking Many by Surprise

fall armywormBy:  Kelley TilmonAndy MichelMark SulcJames MorrisCurtis Young, CCA

We have received an unusual number of reports about fall armyworm outbreaks particularly in forage including alfalfa and sorghum sudangrass, and in turf.  Certain hard-hit fields have been all but stripped bare (Figure 1).

True or common armyworm is a different species than the fall armyworm.  The true armyworm is the species that causes problems in cereal crops in the spring of the year. Fall armyworm migrates into Ohio during the summer and could cause problems into late summer. It is not or maybe we should say has not typically been a problem in Ohio. Also, unlike the true armyworm that only feeds on grasses (i.e., corn, wheat, forage grasses), the fall armyworm has well over 100 different types of plants upon which it feeds including many grasses but also alfalfa, soybeans, beets, cabbage, peanuts, onion, cotton, pasture grasses, millet, tomato, and potato. Obviously, a few of these crops are not produced in Ohio, but several of them are. As a result, we encourage farmers to be aware of feeding damage in their fields, especially forage crop fields that’s where a lot of the action seems to be right now. Continue reading

Remember soybean aphids? They might be in your fields

By:  Andy Michel and Kelley Tilmon

Note for Williams County growers:  If you suspect soybean aphids in your field, please call ANR Educator Steph Karhoff at 419-519-6047 with field location and soybean variety to have your field scouted and aphid sample taken for research purposes.

Soybean aphids have always been around Ohio, but it has been a while since we have had many fields with high populations.  Based on recent scouting, we have noticed increasing populations of soybean aphids.  As we go into the critical growth stage of soybean, this is also the most important time to check your fields for soybean aphids and see if you have exceeded the threshold of an increasing population of 250 aphids per plant.

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Williams County Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Update – Week #7

For the 7th week of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) monitoring (July 30 – August 5) <1 moth per trap was observed. Scouting for egg masses is recommended when adult WBC trap counts average 7 or more moths per week in tasseling or pre-tassel corn. You can learn more about this pest by clicking here to access the OSU Extension Western Bean Cutworm Factsheet.

The WBC monitoring program is a state-led initiative to better understand insect populations, and develop management recommendations for growers. Each week, statewide WBC numbers will be published in the C.O.R.N. newsletter. Williams County WBC numbers will also be published on this blog on a weekly basis. If you are interested in hosting a trap in 2022, please call the Williams County Extension Office at 419-636-5608.

Don’t get Burned by Hopperburn—Check Alfalfa for Potato Leafhoppers

By:  Andy Michel, Mark Sulc, Curtis Young, CCA, Kelley Tillmon

alfalfa leaf hoppers on dimePotato leafhopper (PLH) adults arrived in Ohio during the last week of June and first week of July. Since then, the eggs have hatched and we are now seeing late stage nymphs and adults infesting alfalfa fields.  A few fields are showing the typical “hopperburn”, which is a triangular yellowing from the center of the leaf to the leaf margin. The more mature the crop of alfalfa is since the last cutting, the more the hopperburn symptoms will be showing. Hopperburn will also become more pronounced in areas of the state that are short on rain or are predicted to become drier because the alfalfa will not be able to outgrow the feeding activity of PLH.  Scouting now and making appropriate management decisions based on the scouting can help avoid serious damage to the crop. Continue reading

Williams County Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Update – Week #6

For the sixth week of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) monitoring (July 23-29) six moths per trap were observed. Scouting for egg masses is recommended when adult WBC trap counts average 7 or more moths per week in tasseling or pre-tassel corn. You can learn more about this pest by clicking here to access the OSU Extension Western Bean Cutworm Factsheet.

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Williams County Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Update – Week #5: Time to Scout for Egg Masses!

For the fifth week of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) monitoring (July 16 – 22) seven moths per trap were observed which means it is time to scout for egg masses in corn fields that are pre-tassel or approaching tassel.

Here is how to scout for WBC and treatment recommendations (provided by Amy Raudenbush):

  1. Randomly choose at least 20 consecutive plants in 5 locations within a field (a total of 100 plants per field).
  2. Inspect 3–4 leaves on the uppermost portion of the corn plant. It is very useful to look at leaves with the sun behind them – often the shadow of the egg mass will reveal it without having to examine the leaf closely. 

Field corn should be treated with a foliar treatment if more than 5 % of inspected plants have eggs or larvae. Sweet corn should be treated if more than 4 % of inspected plants have eggs or larvae (processing market), or 1 % of plants (fresh-market). Continue reading

Williams County Western Bean Cutworm Monitoring Update – Week #4

By:  Stephanie Karhoff

For the fourth week of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) monitoring (July 8-15) four moths per trap were observed. Scouting for egg masses is recommended when adult WBC trap counts average 7 or more moths per week in tasseling or pre-tassel corn. You can learn more about this pest by clicking here to access the OSU Extension Western Bean Cutworm Factsheet.

Continue reading