Western Bean Cutworm Moth Flight Has Begun in Ontario

A few of our WBC trap network participants reported catching moths in their traps last week.  This is a week later than last year. Moths were found at a few trap locations scattered across the province.  And more reports are coming in this week from those out checking traps during this weeks’ travels.  This could indicate that they are migrants from other states given the large geographical spread but only time will help us determine that once we see the next few weeks worth of trap counts. Christian Krupke at Purdue indicated that they caught moths this week (June 20th) too. So the season has official begun in the Great Lakes Region! To view the current maps for the Ontario WBC trap network, please visit the website at: http://www.cornpest.ca/default/index.cfm/wbc-trap-network/weekly-maps-of-wbc-trap-catches/

Thanks again to all of our trap participants.  Over 800 traps are out there in Ontario this year.  Absolutely amazing co-operation.

What does this mean for this year?  Is this the start of the WBC invasion?  I am not sure we can entirely predict what the outcome will be this year.  Given the delay in corn planting, the insect might develop ahead of the crop and have difficulty finding corn fields in their ideal crop stage (somewhere between pre-tassel and full tassel).  This would then make the other host crops like beans equally or more inviting.  That or more likely, the majority of the corn crop could land in the ideal crop stage and the two meet perfectly for some ideal egg laying in corn.

We will keep an eye on the moth flights and alert you to when peak flight occurs.  We are also starting to map the average growth stages of corn in the various counties of the province (another pilot project between OMAFRA and Laresco with the help from reps of the seed corn companies including Dekalb, Maizex, Pioneer and Syngenta).  This might help us identify those counties at the most risk for egg laying.  A link to that map will be provided in the next WBC update.  We are also scouting in search of any WBC hot spots and of course will be looking once again to collect a lot of eggs for research purposes so if you find a field with a decent number of WBC egg masses, we will be happy to come and take them away for you.

Scouting techniques, management strategies and chemical options all to come in the next few weeks.

OH BTW – they are working on modifying my blog a bit.  Fingers crossed there will be a photo gallery along the sidebar here for you to search through.  But while they are working on that, this page might look a little strange during your visit.