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It is time to scout wheat fields for fall armyworm!

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David Marburger

David Marburger

Since April 2016, I have served as the Small Grains Extension Specialist at Oklahoma State University. My research and extension efforts focus on delivering science-based recommendations in order to increase small grains production and profitability for stakeholders throughout Oklahoma and the southern Great Plains.

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By Amanda de Oliveira Silva, OSU Small Grains Extension Specialist and Tom Royer, Extension Entomologist

We are receiving reports of fall armyworms infestations and wanted to alert producers to check their wheat fields every day after seeding emergence. The worms can be very tiny and difficult to see it. Symptoms like “window pane” in the leaves indicate feeding from fall armyworm. Also, check under crop residue as they might try to hide from the heat.

Symptom of “window paned” leaves shows severe feeding from the fall armyworm. Photo taken on October 2, 2019 at Canadian County by Amanda de O. Silva.
Fall armyworms may be found under crop residue during the day. Photo taken on October 2, 2019 at Canadian County by Amanda de O. Silva.

Replanting decisions need to be made on field by field basis. Replanting might be best for producers taking the crop to a grain-only system. Also, allow some time to replant to avoid having infestations back again.

“We will not get relief from fall armyworms until we get a killing frost, so keep vigilant!” Tom Royer

Several helpful resources are available for producers. Contact your local county Extension office. For additional read refer to Pest e-alerts Reports of Seedling wheat Infested with Fall Armyworm 2019. Consult the newly updated OSU Fact Sheets CR-7193 Management of Insect Pests in Rangeland and Pasture and CR-7194 Management of Insect and Mite Pests of Small Grains for control suggestions.


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