Western Bean Cutworm Training--Timely and Effective

Clarke McGrath, agronomist/crops field specialist, Southwest Iowa     


Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) is a new pest for corn in southwestern Iowa.  In late July and early August 2004, WBC infestations were quite common.  Since few agronomists and growers in our area have experience with and knowledge about the pest and its management, research based information on scouting protocol, pest control methods and economic thresholds needed to be shared with clients, and quickly.         


I called the major ag chem/seed/fert dealers in a WBC "hot spot" to arrange an in-field training session.  Several local ag chem/seed/fert dealers, a small group of farmers, and I met in an area of Shelby County where there were varying levels of WBC pressure in several fields.  I provided them all with printed WBC scouting and management information, and we spent 3 hours in the fields discussing scouting, thresholds, control methods, products and timing associated with WBC management.      


The growers scouted the rest of their fields for WBC on their own, and worked with several of their neighbors as well.  The ag retailers worked with many of their customers on WBC scouting and management over the next several days as well.  In follow up surveys of several of the growers and retailers, 100% felt that our ISU Extension response was timely, informative and effective.  All were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of training and the materials shared.  Clients indicated that they saved $9-14 per acre on approximately 15,000 acres of corn they scouted and did not treat, for an approximate savings of $172,500.  Estimates of yield benefits from clients who treated for the WBC varied widely, but a compilation of these estimates indicated that on the 5,500 acres sprayed, growers indicated they earned an additional $133,031 (10.75 bu/a @ $2.25/bu).

Feb. 9, 2005
142 -- Integrated Pest and Crop Management   

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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