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Posted 5 May 2009. PMN Crop News.

Prepare for Early Season Pest Pressure: Black Cutworm Moth Trappings Reported

Dow AgroSciences LLC.

Indianapolis, Indiana (April 22, 2009)--Corn is top of mind as growers tune up equipment and begin planting this spring. However, damaging corn pests, including black cutworm (BCW), also should be top of mind. Reports indicate that BCW are already on the move from their winter homes to infest fields across the Corn Belt.


Young corn is especially susceptible to BCW feeding damage, but growers who plant hybrids with HERCULEX® Insect Protection this spring can be assured the yield potential of their crop is protected from pest pressure, no matter when it strikes.

“HERCULEX protects seed investments throughout the season by providing broad-spectrum pest control,” says Duane Canfield, marketing specialist for Dow AgroSciences traits and germplasm licensing. “With season-long control of BCW, plus control of European corn borer, western bean cutworm and corn rootworm, HERCULEX XTRA is an excellent fit for many growers.”

Early spring weather systems helped BCW moths make an early appearance in Illinois. They were reported in pheromone traps in late March, according the University of Illinois Extension Integrated Pest Management newsletter, and the migration of BCW has continued through April as moths search for sites to lay eggs.

Pressure from these moths will not be isolated in Illinois. Clinton Meinhardt, a research specialist with Greenley Research Center in Novelty, Mo., said that last year, his area saw heavy BCW flights, and he predicts this year will be similar.

“Like with any insect, it’s hard to tell what kind of pressure you’ll have before the season, but BCW is the No. 1 early season pest for corn in our area,” Meinhardt says. “It’s very difficult to predict, but I’m certain economic thresholds will be met this year — it always happens.”

The implication of BCW presence in Northern states so early in the season is not yet known; therefore, it is important for growers to monitor pest reports in their area and prepare for pressure. One way to do that is to plant hybrids with built-in insect protection.

“HERCULEX XTRA provides outstanding protection for higher-yielding hybrids and is the most complete trait offering currently available,” Canfield says.

Growers can discover additional value by choosing HERCULEX hybrids without Roundup Ready® technology. And growers who plant at least 75 percent of their corn acres with Biotech Endorsement (BE) hybrids, including hybrids with HERCULEX® XTRA Insect Protection, may be eligible for reduced insurance premiums.1

To learn more about the value from hybrids with HERCULEX Insect Protection, visit

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a top-tier agricultural company that combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. Dow AgroSciences provides innovative technologies for crop protection, pest and vegetation management, seeds, traits, and agricultural biotechnology to serve the world’s growing population. Global sales for Dow AgroSciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, were $4.5 billion in 2008. Learn more at

1Certain eligibility requirements apply, including having to plant at least 75 percent of the grower’s corn using a BE-qualifying technology.

®HERCULEX is a trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC.

®Roundup Ready is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.

©2009 Dow AgroSciences LLC

HERCULEX Insect Protection technology by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred

Claire Keyes