Western Bean Cutworms moth #’s dropping — but look for larva

Contributed by Robert Moloney, NK Brand Seeds

Catches of Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) moths are rapidly dropping to zero across the province as of this week.  At this point we wouldn’t expect moths to be laying eggs anyway, but the overall catch numbers for the year give us an idea of how big and widespread the problem has the potential to become.  Even taking into account the fact that there were many more WBC moth traps in Ontario this year versus previous years, the number of moths caught increased massively this year.  We will have to wait for corn harvest to get a better handle on just what this means for the damage we may see in Ontario this year, but it isn’t difficult to find larva in corn ears in areas with high moth capture numbers now (see previous blog entries for details on scouting for larva).  The larvae are very mobile, so even if you couldn’t find the low numbers of egg masses in the field earlier, you may be able to find the larva and damage now.  In plots at the NK Arva research station which had egg masses moved into them to ensure infestation of WBC it is not uncommon to find larva in every cob within 6-8 feet of row from the marked plant that the egg mass was attached to.  In some spots they have moved even farther than this.  The positive news is that plants with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait that also had egg masses attached to them are showing no signs of WBC damage or larva survival.

Why scout for larva?

At this point in the season we can’t do anything to control the WBC larva in the cob but it is still worth scouting your fields to get an idea of what level of WBC larva pressure you have in the field.  This will allow you to prioritize fields with higher potential for ear mould growth for earlier harvest.  In some fields we are already seeing some ear mould development where WBC have been feeding.


Dirt on Seeds

Great new blog by Syngenta Agronomists in the US. Check out the blog and see the damage that can happen without using Agrisure Viptera when you have a Corn Earworm infestation. The Dirt on Seeds.

Check your soybean fields for Spider Mites.

Many fields are looking at like the best yields we have seen in a long time it is important to get these beans in the bin. The damage from spider mites in your field will decrease your yield. Tracey has a great article that can help with your spray decision. Check the link below.
Too Many Fields with Obvious Spider Mite Damage.

Multi-Pest Field Tour – Fall Armyworm

Take a Multi-Pest tour with Shawn Brenneman, Territory Manager as he shows crop damage in corn from Fall Armyworm.

Multi-pest field tour – Western Bean Cutworm – Ear damage

Take a Multi-Pest tour with Mike Folkard, Territory Manager as he shows early ear damage from Western Bean Cutworm.

Sex in the corn field.

Were we successful in having sex in the corn field? By doing this quick and easy pregnancy test you can quickly see how the corn pollinated this year.

Did you maximize your soybean yield?

Now is the perfect time to scout your soybean fields to see if we planted a long enough maturing soybean. To break new yield plateau we have moved to earlier planting with seed treatment and early season pest control (weed, disease and insect) to increase yields but have we planted longer maturing soybeans? If you are not planning on growing wheat after your soybeans in order to maximize yield you need to use all of the growing season available. To do this we need to plant early and plant a later maturing soybean (0.5 to 0.8 RM (100 – 200 CHU)) than you would normally. This can add significant yield, 3 – 5 bu/ac. Just by looking at the graphs in the Ontario Soybean performance testing (www.gosoy.ca) you can see that as you extend maturity the yield goes up.
So why scout now? Generally, the soybeans should still be flowering in the top section of the plant in mid August to maximize the growing season. If they are done flowering in early August you lost yield (or are planning on planting wheat) if they still are flowering on the top of the plant you are still making putting bushels in the bin. Check your field. Did you plant the correct soybean maturity this year?

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