2017 U of MN Cooperative Black Cutworm Trapping Network Issue 2

Report #1 Week of APRIL 1-7, 2017

This newsletter is available in a print-friendly pdf format: 2017 Black Cutworm Network Issue 2

Black cutworm moth captures throughout southern and central Minnesota for the week of April 1-7, 2017

Figure 1. Maximum black cutworm moth captures by county. April 1-7, 2017

The first 2017 black cutworm moths showed up in pheromone traps last week. Jason Golden's Swift County trap picked up 4 moths on April 3rd and 2 more moths on April 6th. In Wabasha County, Rod Sommerfield's trap captured 3 moths on April 8th.   

We also had the first report for the year of a bird making bad decisions. Occasionally, one of our feathered friends cannot resist trying to pick insects out of the trap - checking the trap early in the day and removing larger live insects minimizes the temptation.

When a trap captures 8 or more moths in a 2-night period, we have evidence that a large influx of moths has occurred. A significant capture of male moths in a pheromone trap indicates that some fields in the area may be a risk from black cutworm larval damage. This week's captures indicate that black cutworm moths have begun to arrive in Minnesota but the numbers captured are not high enough to indicate a threat to 2017 crops.

To this point, spring tillage has been minimal in much of southern Minnesota. We are now waiting to see if, where, and when significant black cutworm flights arrive. The timing of moth arrival with respect to field work will determine which fields are attractive to egg laying moths. We are still in the process of re-working the website, particularly pictures of various cutworm species. In the meantime, the Black Cutworm Reporting Network webpage does have has information on black cutworm management and biology.

If you have not yet placed your traps, please do so as soon as possible. Also please report your captures to Travis (tvollmer@umn.edu) each Friday. We start analyzing the results Monday mornings. Because we are trying to determine where flight occurred, it is important to report both positive and negative captures each week. Finally, a quick email if a trap captures 8 or more moths over a 2-night period will be appreciated.

Until next week, 

- Bruce Potter and Travis Vollmer