Black Cutworm Moth Trap Counts Indicate the Arrival of the Multi-Pest Complex

Black Cutworm Moth Trap Counts Indicate the Arrival of the Multi-Pest Complex

• Trap counts and weather conditions indicate increased likelihood of black cutworm infestations later this season
• Growers should scout their corn fields immediately to determine if insecticide applications are necessary
• Corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera™ 3111 trait stack provide season-long defense against black cutworm without scouting or spraying

Syngenta agronomists in states across the Corn Belt are reporting intensive moth trap counts of black cutworm. Moth trap counts are a good way to identify locations where eggs may have been laid as well as regions that are at higher risk of future damage from the newly hatched larvae that like to feed on young corn plants. Increased levels of moth flights are often the first sign of heavy egg-laying and possible infestations later in the season. Syngenta agronomists have noted that corn fields in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri are at possible risk.

Growers are urged to scout fields now because black cutworm can cause substantial damage to growers' yield potential if not controlled early in the growing season. Infestations can lead to stand reductions of more than 70 percent in some sections of fields. Syngenta agronomists recommend scouting by checking 20 plants in five locations every 25-30 acres. If the total of damaged plants exceeds two percent and larvae are smaller than three-fourths of an inch in length, consider treating with an insecticide. As larvae and corn increase in size, the threshold can be raised to five percent; however, if the current stand is less than 15 percent below optimum, maintain the two percent threshold.

“Growers should be aware of the increased possibility for upcoming black cutworm infestations, especially in no-till fields with annual weeds,” said Bruce Battles, Syngenta Agronomy Marketing Manager. “Unfortunately, weather patterns across the Corn Belt this winter and spring have created field conditions in which black cutworm populations tend to proliferate. However, growers can look to Syngenta’s advanced corn traits and trait stacks, like the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack, to help them protect their investment with black cutworm control,” said Battles.

To protect against black cutworm all season long, growers can plant corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack. The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack combines the Agrisure Viptera trait with the Agrisure® 3000GT trait stack to provide unsurpassed control of 14 above- and below-ground corn pests and glufosinate and glyphosate tolerance.

Corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack have an in-seed defense against the multi-pest complex, which includes black cutworm, corn earworm, fall armyworm, Western bean cutworm, dingy cutworm, stalk borer and sugarcane borer, among others. Syngenta estimates damage from these pests costs U.S. corn growers 238 million bushels of corn and $1.1 billion in annual yield and grain quality losses.1 In recent field trials, the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack nationally delivered a 7.3 bu/A advantage under ear-feeding insect pressure.2

The Agrisure Viptera trait is approved for cultivation in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, and is approved for import into Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand and South Korea.

Currently, the Agrisure Viptera trait is available in hybrids from the Garst®, Golden Harvest® and NK® brands from Syngenta and will also be made available through licensing agreements with more than 125 local and independently owned seed companies. Growers should contact their local Garst, Golden Harvest or NK representative to find out where they can view hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait in action at Syngenta field trials this summer.
For more information about the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack, visit

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