Black Cutworm Moths raise crop concerns in the Midwest

So far, Black Cutworm Moths have been trapped in Wisconsin and Illinois. The invasive pest larvae can cause crop damage if the eggs are not destroyed before they hatch.

Black Cutworm Moths are causing concern for growers in Wisconsin. State ag officials say the pest has arrived in big numbers.

The Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection caught 126 moths in 50 traps last week. Experts say it will take about 300 growing degree days until the eggs hatch, which then leads to crop damaging larvae.

The Black Cutworm migrates north each spring from the Gulf of Mexico and Texas and with the right weather, the moths can reach Wisconsin from the Gulf in just two days.

Producers in Illinois are also finding the pest.

Stephanie Porter is an agronomist and farmer in the state and shared what she found on her operation on X. Porter said they were one moth shy of a significant catch of Black Cutworm Moth. They found seven in one week.

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