2016 University of Minnesota Cooperative Black Cutworm Trapping Network Report #3

Week of April 2 - April 8, 2016

This newsletter is available in a print-friendly pdf format: 2016 Black Cutworm Network Issue 3

BCW Map April 13, 2016The past week was unseasonably cold and very windy for sure. One bright spot was that we did not have any weather systems to bring migrant black cutworm moths into Minnesota. As a result, we had no black cutworm moths captured last week.

What about high winds blowing from the south? Surface winds will not bring cutworm moths across long distances from the areas in the southern US and Mexico that they can survive the winter. In spring, higher altitude low-level jet streams are needed to rapidly transport black cutworm moths (and many other insects) over long distances.

Many other insects also take advantage of these long-distance transport systems. You can read more about black cutworm migration.

In many areas, growers have starting to get into the field. Spring tillage reduces the previous year's crop residue and early spring weeds. Once tilled, fields tend to be less attractive for egg-laying black cutworm moths. Fields that are worked before moths arrive will be much less likely to see a black cutworm problem later this spring. Will the planting activities of MN farmers beat the arrival of black cutworms? Time will tell.

The black cutworm pheromone trapping network will help us know when, and relatively how many of, these migrant pests arrive.

- Bruce and Travis