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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Expectations for Western Bean Cutworm

Western Bean Cutworm larva.

For the past 8 years, we have used pheromone traps to monitor the presence of western bean cutworm. This is a relatively new pest for Ohio that is a significant ear-feeder on corn.  Adult flight typically begins towards the end of June, and can last through August. We have already caught 2 adults in NW Ohio. With the colder spring, we expect peak flight to occur a bit later than normal, perhaps during the 4th week of July.  Females will lay eggs on the upper leaves of corn and when the eggs hatch, they will move and enter the developing ear.  Although we can find western bean cutworm larvae in fields, we have not yet found infestations over economic threshold.  However, females prefer to lay eggs in corn that has not tasseled, and we have a large amount of late planted corn which may be at risk for infestation. As counts get higher we will provide updates as to when and where egg scouting should begin. 

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.