Fall Armyworm at 50-Year Record Levels

September 16, 2021

Mark Borden, Seed Specialist

With recent events of extreme high moth catches all the way into Michigan and Northwestern Ohio, (300-600 moths per catch) and the devastation of many alfalfa fields in the last month, lets dive into this subject…

The current outbreak appears to be the grass strain larvae that favored alfalfa hay, which is not normal since alfalfa is not a grass. The biggest question is “Will this pest produce another life cycle by hatching as a butterfly and laying more eggs producing more fall armyworms before the cold weather arrives?”

Chances are not as strong due to the calendar date, but if they do return, cover crops, wheat, and alfalfa fields could be impacted. Many entomologists will be watching moth traps in the next couple of weeks to evaluate this threat.

If you had a field of alfalfa that was attacked, be sure to mow anyhow to stimulate new growth. Many fields that were sprayed with a rescue insecticide did little to control this massive outbreak. This isn’t typically a large issue for Central and Northern Indiana, but as we all know, normality is being challenged in many aspects of our lives.

Questions or concerns about fall armyworm affecting your crops? Contact Mark Borden or your Seed Specialist.

Learn more about this year’s armyworm issue from Syngenta.