Worm Pests Could Mean Trouble For Seed Growers

21 Jul 2017

Posted in General by Curtis Williams

While we have been extolling the virtues of perfect harvest weather, now comes a new culprit from out of the ground. During the past week there have been numerous reports from growers and field reps who have noticed large quantities of worm pests in combine tanks and in some late maturing grass seed crops. There appears to be at least three or more species of armyworms and cutworms present in the larval stage.

Local scientists blame the wet winter on the proliferation of these species and the same for the decline of the naturally occurring biocontrol organisms such as flies, wasp and nematodes. While the larvae are not feeding right now, high concentrations in a particular field may spell trouble when the day length shortens and the fields begin to green up again. There are always several chemical control options available for all these species, which have to be applied at night when they are feeding!

Note: Photo credit – Oregon State University Extension Service