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An Update on Cereal Leaf Beetle and Black Cutworm

Posted: May 13, 2014

Growers are advised to stay alert for cereal leaf beetle in small grains and watchful with respect to the onset of potential black cutworm feeding in corn.

As we have mentioned in past weeks, growers would be wise to stay alert for cereal leaf beetle in small grains. The PA-PIPE system indicates that eggs should be hatching out in the earliest fields. Recall that the PIPE models the earliest 5% of insect populations, not the majority of the populations. Our scouting efforts over the last few days in Berks County and Washington County (MD), revealed healthy populations of adults and recently laid eggs in some fields, while others appeared to have none at all. Thus, populations are quite variable across the region, and scouting will be necessary to identify where populations are developing. For images and details on this pest’s life cycle and management options, see our recently revised fact sheet.

Also, as a reminder, Penn State’s Black Cutworm Monitoring Network detected “significant flights” of black cutworm moths at four locations thus far: near Kutztown (Berks County), near Montoursville (Lycoming County), near Pine Grove Mills, (Centre County) and Wysox (Bradford County). The degree-day accumulations for these sites are available on the PA-PIPE and as of the end of the day Monday (12 May) were: 107, 111, 70 (approximately), and 68, respectively. Once we get closer to 300 degree days, we will recommend that folks should scout fields for damage. Rescue treatments are usually the most efficient and economical tactic for managing black cutworm. For more information, see our fact sheet.

Contact Information

John Tooker
  • Extension Specialist
Phone: 814-865-7082