Reports of Black Cutworm Moths Affecting Emerging Corn in Northern Indiana

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed

Damage to emerging corn from black cutworm moths while in their larval stage. Photo courtesy of Purdue Extension.

With corn emerging across the state, there are reports of black cutworm moths affecting crops in northern Indiana.

“They’ll basically just snap the corn plant right now half and they’ll demolish all the leaves,” according to Grant Gudeman, Field Sales Representative with Specialty Hybrids. He says while black cutworm moths are in their larval stages, they can cause a lot of damage to corn crops.

“Their whole mindset is to just get as big and fat and feed as much as possible so that they can eventually become moths themselves.”

Gudeman says he’s heard of the damage from the scouting reports of farmers in northcentral Indiana.

Grant Gudeman, Field Sales Representative with Specialty Hybrids.

“These black cutworm moths, they overwinter in the south and they use the wind to blow up from the south into the north and they basically find grassy areas with a lot of cover to lay their eggs.  Then these larvae will hatch and they basically find grassy areas.  They’ll work their way into the field and they want to find green they want to find vegetation,” says Gudeman.

Even though there have been reports of damage from black cutworm moths, the late start to planting may have prevented further damage.

Black cutworm larval stages, those on the penny will leaf feed, those on the hand can cut corn. Photo courtesy of Purdue Extension.

“Moth counts being high, our corn and bean planting rotation kind of being scattered out [and] not everything be planted in one fell swoop, that might benefit us a little bit with not giving those larvae the amount of green and the amount of lush to attack and go after.”

Gudeman wants Indiana farmers to be aware, before they become a bigger problem.

“If you’re out and you are driving, you probably won’t see black cutworm damage from the highway going 60 miles an hour. But if you’re out in your field [or] you’re mowing your roadside, keep a close eye on plant shredding [or] leaf shredding and just even stocks being cut in half,” says Gudeman.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report featuring Grant Gudeman with Specialty Hybrids on the reports of black cutworm moth damage on emerging corn crops in northern Indiana.

Click BELOW to hear the full interview with Grant Gudeman with Specialty Hybrids about planting and crop emergence progress throughout northern Indiana.

At Specialty Hybrids, it’s your field, our Specialty. Find your local field sales representative and dealer online at

A black cutworm moth. Photo courtesy of Purdue Extension.

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