It is an important time to be scouting your corn for Black Cutworm. The Southern 1/3 of Iowa is in prime cutting time right now with the Central area starting to be a problem and the Northern 1/3 of Iowa just starting. The worst problems are occurring in corn which doesn’t carry the SmartStax, Herculex or Viptera genes. The corn planted in early to mid April is showing the most vulnerability, especially if there were weedy areas when egg laying occurred.
The best solution, if significant cutting is observed, is to spray with an effective foliar insecticide that your chemical supplier will suggest. Cutting can progress rapidly, so a rapid spray response is needed. Next year I suggest planting corn with good Broad Lepidoptera resistance genes, such as Viptera. Feel free to call your seed sales representative or Bob Miller 319-325-6158 of Miller Hybrids for assistance.
The two pictures below are of plants showing signs of early death along with a cut plant. In wetter areas Pythium root rot is also killing some small plants, however the shoots on a cut plant will tend to be white and healthy vs the brown and slimy shoot.
This aerial shot of one of our research fields near Wellman, Iowa last summer really helps to show the complexity of hybrid research! Can you imagine trying to plant all those different varieties with your planter? Talk about a headache!
Leave the research to us, we enjoy the process and are happy when what we learn and our successes turn into new hybrids that bring you success on the farm.
Thanks again for working with us at Miller Hybrids! We'll be thinking of you busy planting your farm as we're busy planting ours.
Thoughts from Ph. D. Corn Breeder and Miller Hybrids Owner, Bob Miller.
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