Farmers warned to watch for fall army worms

By Chris Swick
October 23, 2015

McPherson County farmers are being warned to check their fields for fall army worms.

“This is especially important because this summer and fall were characterized by very active fall army worm activity,” Jonie James, McPherson County Extension Agent, said. “Reports of fall army worms infesting recently-planted wheat fields in Oklahoma have put farmers in southern Kansas on alert as this moth migrates northward from southern states to lay eggs on emerged wheat.”

Symptoms of an infection include a window pane injury, which is caused by tiny larvae chewing on the seedling leaves.

“Each individual field should be scouted in several location, including the field margins and the interior,” James said. “The larvae themselves are usually too small to be easily observed when they first hatch and they hide in or around the base of the seedlings.”

James added the larvae become large enough within a few days to destroy entire leaves.

More information, including treatment options, is available by contacting James at 241-1523.