Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wheathead Armyworms

Yesterday, Nick Parker and I set out 3 sets of traps to survey for Wheathead armyworm moths near Helix, Oregon. Each site has 2 traps and they are located across the area of wheatfields that has experienced damaging levels of armyworms the past two seasons. I will be visiting the traps weekly, collecting insects and identifying any wheathead armyworm moths. I will post the results weekly over the next few weeks, see keep checking back for updates!

Several wheat fields were significantly impacted by armyworms in 2007 and 2008 in an area north of Pendleton near Helix. The fields have a variety of farming practices used to grow winter wheat that are representive of the area.

This year I also recommend scouting fields as wheat heads emerge for larva.

Here are a few reminders about this pest:

  • More than one generation per year
  • First generation larvae feed on mature wheat heads.
  • Larvae vary in coloration from greenish to cream-colored, with longitudinal white and brown lines down each side of body.
  • Larvae feed on the wheat heads from evening to early morning, typically hanging onto the awns upside down and hollowing out kernels.
  • Larvae rest in the soil at the base of the plant during the day.

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