Rain isn’t the only thing those constant storms have been carrying into Ontario. States south of Ontario have reported large captures of black cutworm moths, and some of those same moths have been riding the storm fronts into Ontario and laying eggs.
The black moth eggs hatch and the larvae then move from the annual weeds in field to feed on corn seedlings. Depending on the size of the cutworm and the size of the seedlings, the damage to the plants can seriously impact corn stand establishment. This year may be of particular concern because the larvae are hatched and growing, and will be feeding on the late planted small seedlings. Scouting those seedlings is essential to controlling black cutworms in fields.
Tracey Baute works as the Field Crop Entomologist Program Lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs ( OMAFRA ). She is also responsible for BauteBUGBlog.com. I talked to Tracey about the reason for concern for the Black Cutworm and what scouting and control measures should be taken.
If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.