Start scouting for fall armyworms now

In Delta Farm Press

by Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas

They’re called fall armyworms, but this year, they’re not even waiting for summer to bring their appetites to Arkansas’ lawns, pastures and rice fields. Kevin Lawson, Perry County Extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, noted on June 5 that hungry little caterpillars were on some rice in his county, and urged those with sod farms, pastures and hayfields to “start scouting now.”

“This is very early,” he said. “Now is the time to keep an eye out.”

Extension agents have reported armyworms in Hempstead, Howard, Pike and Sevier counties as well.

Fall armyworms typically don’t debut until July, but with the relatively warm winter and spring, “everything is early this year,” Lawson said. “It’s going to be a big insect year for our farmers.”

He said growers in his county were already anticipating the pests and had stocked up on control products. For those producers getting ready to cut hay — cutting the hay would be the best form of control.

Read the rest of the story in Delta Farm Press.

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