Corn School: Taking a Bite Out of Western Bean Cutworm

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Western bean cutworm took a big bite out of many Ontario cornfields in 2016 as high populations of the pest caused increased levels of fusarium and gibberella ear rot.

With the pest expected to overwinter and be a threat again in 2017, many growers are asking whether they need to spray and when. Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson found some answers at the recent Southwest Agricultural Conference, held at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus, where he caught up with Michigan State entomologist Chris DiFonzo.

In this episode of Real Agriculture Corn School DiFonzo tells Johnson why it’s so important to effectively scout for WBC and correctly calculate threshold levels. She also shares some neat tips on how growers can practice scouting for WBC and zeros in on the most effective spray timing. DiFonzo says it’s important to identify peak flight of moths because that’s when you still have some pre-tassel and tasselled corn and most of the egg masses are hatching. Once WBC are in the cob, you can’t control them.

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