Small Grain Insect Update

Scout emerging small grains for fall armyworm. Our unusually warm October weather may give moths an opportunity to lay eggs in fields and for those eggs to develop into caterpillars capable of causing damage before frost. Fall armyworm will hide during the day, seeking shelter under debris and loose soil. Look for areas that appear to have been clipped. While no threshold has ever been established for them on seedling grain, various extension recommendations from other seedling crops (and mostly for cutworms) range from 1-3 per square foot. Pyrethroids seem to be providing good to excellent control. Seed treatments will not control armyworm. While scouting for armyworm, pay attention to aphids. The warm weather we have had may allow their populations to increase as well. Thresholds are approximately 12-15 per row foot. Consider field history as well, if there are bird cherry oat aphids present and the field has a history of barley yellow dwarf virus, it may be worth considering an insecticide application this fall.