Western bean cutworm (WBC) is a corn pest that has expanded its range across Iowa and toward East Coast states. Before corn tassels, newly emerged WBC larvae move to the whorl and feed on the flag leaf. Once tasseling begins, they move to the green silks. Older larvae feed primarily on the ear tip, but some move outside the ear, chew through the husk and feed on kernels on the side or shank of the ear. Unlike corn earworm, multiple WBC larvae may be found in the same ear. Consuming the developing kernels can cause yield losses. In addition, the damage caused by feeding can allow pathogens to enter the ear and reduce grain quality.
Iowa State University
Sisson, Adam J.; Jesse, Laura C.H.; and Hodgson, Erin W., "2013 Western Bean Cutworm Scouting Update" (2013). Integrated Crop Management News. 44.
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