Cutworm and Armyworm Traps Set in SWNY

The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program is pleased to announce an effort to help farmers monitor pest issues this growing season.

Black cutworm and common armyworm are problematic in agronomic and turf production systems. They do not overwinter in New York, but fly into the area in the spring from southern states. The migration of these two pests is cyclic from year to year and difficult to predict. Field Crops Specialist, Josh Putman, is gearing up to set traps throughout the region to help growers predict the potential risk of cutworm and armyworm infestations in wheat and corn fields this spring and summer.

Over the past few years, higher concentrations of armyworm activity have been identified in the western counties of New York. Cornell Cooperative Extension Specialists plan to set traps in several counties throughout the state, and in the Southwest New York region, that will contain pheromones to help lure moths to the traps. Then, once per week, the moths will be counted and a timely update will be provided to growers. This valuable update will include localized data and timely management strategies. Furthermore, having traps set in Southwest New York will help predict infestations across the state, as it is often an area hit first in the season due to their migratory patterns. Be sure to monitor farm fields this spring and contact your local extension specialist if you have a pest that needs to be identified!

Fields most at risk for cutworm and armyworm feeding are: 

1) Grass or mostly grass hayfields, pastures (Armyworms will also feed on grass lawns)

2) Wheat and other small grain fields and cut hay fields

3) Corn fields that:

  1. were planted into a small grain cover crop (such as rye grass or wheat)
  2. have grassy weeds, quackgrass, crabgrass and bluegrass and other perennials
  3. were planted into burned down sods, have grass weed issues, no-till or reduced tillage fields, fields with crop residue
  4. fields near severely infested small grain and cut hay fields, and in no-tillage corn established in grain stubble or on grassy land


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