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Scouting Tips for Black Cutworm in Sweet Corn

July 20, 2017
This agronomic photo shows sweet corn in the field with tassels.

Michigan State University Extension cautions of increased risk of black cutworm damage in sweet corn fields across Michigan this year. Michigan sweet corn growers should scout for black cutworm damage if black cutworm moth flights have occurred in their areas. Wet weather throughout the spring and recent storms created prime conditions for these pests to thrive.

Following egg hatch, fields should be scouted weekly until sweet corn has more than 6 leaves. To scout, inspect 100 plants in 3 locations throughout the field. If damage is present, treat for black cutworms with a pyrethroid insecticide.  Bt corn with the Vip3A trait also provides protection.

To prevent black cutworm damage, Syngenta recommends Attribute® and Attribute® II trait stacks. The combination of Vip3A with Cry1Ab, the protein found in Attribute varieties, offer excellent control of key yield-robbing insects.

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