WESTERN BEAN CUTWORM – THEY’RE HERE

For 2010 Syngenta Seeds, working with our dealers, have over 50 Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) moth traps out across Ontario and Quebec. These traps have a pheromone lure to attract the WBC males and are monitored on a weekly basis. The data collected from these Syngenta Seeds traps are fed into the OMAFRA WBC trapping network (see maps at http://www.cornpest.ca).
So far in 2010 WBC moth numbers are still low, but as of the week of June 27-July 3 there are starting to be low number catches across most of southwestern and mid-western Ontario. Compared to previous years, this we are seeing earlier flights and higher numbers for this early in the season. This isn’t really surprising since we are running 100-200 Corn Heat Units ahead of normal. The catches are also showing that the range of the WBC is definitely expanding east and northwards. The number of moths caught to date this year aren’t high enough to cause significant damage but since we are still early in the season it is still quite possible that there could still be some fields that reach damaging levels by the end of the season.
If you’re out walking your corn fields be sure to keep an eye out for WBC egg masses. These egg masses are laid on the topside of the upper leaves. They are a mass of individual eggs laid together that start off pearly white and become purple in colour as they mature (see pictures below). If you find any eggs masses PLEASE collect the plant with the eggs and let your Syngenta rep know immediately. OMAFRA would like to collect as many egg masses as possible for use in their research plots. Techniques for lab rearing this insect are still being developed and since this is still an emerging pest it is hit and miss whether their plots will be infested naturally or not.

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One Response

  1. Awesome article. NK needs the eggs masses as well for work at the Arva farm.

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