Over the past few weeks, we have been receiving calls, emails and texts about finding large caterpillars feeding on corn ears (see photo). In most cases, these are turning out to be Western bean cutworms. Although our numbers have been about the same as previous years, we may have seen slightly more survival. This may be due to the drier and milder July, as well as delayed and patchy corn maturity which provided a lot oviposition sources. To be clear, none of this damage appears to be economic, but yet it would be important to note for future years if you have found these larvae in your field. While it is too late to control for WBC (once they enter the ear, they are protected against insecticide), knowing where larvae have been found would be good information as we continue to monitor this emerging corn pest in Ohio.
Does your field have Western Bean Cutworm larva?
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.