As we move further into summer, armyworms in large numbers invade our pastures and hay fields. Fall armyworms are the most common this time of year and can be identified by an inverted “Y” located on their head. These worms consume roughly 80% of their total diet in the last few days as caterpillars, and in large numbers, can destroy hay fields and pastures in a matter of days.
With the current drought conditions and forage being short, producers will have to make the call whether to apply insecticide or not. Hot, dry conditions can limit armyworm populations, but you should continue to scout fields for small, worms. Knowing that most of the major feeding occurs later in the caterpillar’s life cycle, the earlier we can control them the better. Early detection leads to less economic damage. Check out these helpful fact sheets from the University of Arkansas regarding the management of fall armyworms.
Source: Matt Crabtree, Seed & Sow Summer Edition