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PAT



Identifying and Scouting for Black Cutworm in Missouri

How to Field-Scout for Black Cutworm (BCW) Larvae:

  • Scouting for black cutworm can be difficult because the larvae often hide during the day in soil or under residue
  • Begin scouting in fields in which the probability of black cutworm damage is greatest: low lying fields; fields located near vegetation such as streams, grass strips, woods; weedy fields; fields with heavy residue or infestation of winter annual weeds (e.g. henbit); late planted corn fields; fields with a history of black cutworm damage.
  • Examine 25 consecutive corn plants within a row in at least 10 widely distributed areas in a field and record type of damage (leaf feeding, cut above ground, cut below ground.
  • Calculate the percentage of plants damaged. For example, 12 plants cut above ground among the 250 plants observed (25 plants x 10 areas) means that 4.8% of the stand was damaged by above ground cutting.
  • Missouri thresholds for performing a rescue treatment are 4% if cutting occurs below ground and 6% if damage is above ground including leaf feeding.
  • Thresholds should be decreased to 2 and 4% if corn stands are sparse (less than 22,000 plants/acre).
  • Scout from corn emergence until the V5 (5 leaf collars showing) stage of development.

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