Quick Notification of Uncommon Pest Avoids Significant Field Losses

Name & Position/Title:
Brian Lang, Field Agronomist

Fiscal Year Accomplished:
2010

POW Title and Number:
100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Title of Success Story:
Quick Notification of Uncommon Pest Avoids Significant Field Losses

Problem Statement:
True Armyworm has not been a significant problem in northeast for over 30 years. Most current farmers, crop consultants and other ag providers in Iowa are not even aware of the True Armyworm life cycle or its potential to cause crop damage. However, this spring there was a significant migration of True Armyworm moths into northeast Iowa.

Programmatic Response: The ISU Extension Agronomist in northeast Iowa publishes a weekly email newsletter sent to over 700 farmers and ag providers across northeast Iowa. Every spring the newsletter includes a reminder to scout for Armyworm in corn planted following Winter Rye cover crops or grass fields. Armyworms frequent these situations more than others, although their occurrence is usually minor. However, responses this spring to the Armyworm newsletter notification were quite active. Within a week of initial client responses to some Armyworm problems, the Extension Agronomist expanded both notification of the potential pest and knowledge about this rather unfamiliar pest. The Agronomists created a True Armyworm Fact Sheet, attached it to the next newsletter explaining the potential widespread problem, and expanded the marketing this information to newsprint media and radio.

Impact/Outcome:
The rapid notification of potentially expanding Armyworm problems resulted in many crop consultants, ag providers and farmers to conduct scouting specific for this pest that otherwise would not have been done. This spring the Extension Agronomists received 68 phone calls and emails from farmers, ag providers and crop consultants fielding questions on scouting, thresholds and treatments for the pest. Based on these calls, only 3 farmers lost significant corn acreage to the pest, and 7 farmers lost significant pasture acreage. All other field situations were treated timely to control the Armyworm problem. There was also a multiplier effect from the newsletter and media releases informing others of the problem that did not personally contact the Extension Agronomist. Those benefits cannot be measured here.

2010

100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

 

Page last updated: July 26, 3010
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu