Polk County Extension Agriculture Agent, Joshua Yates reported area farmers and ranchers are reporting the discovery of armyworms in their fields.
Yates stated armyworms are one of the most devastating pests of pastures and hayfields. He said they reduce for both forage availability and hay yields. He said the damage can appear almost overnight and infestations can easily be overlooked when the caterpillars are small and eating very little. Farmers and ranchers may discover significant fall armyworm populations in late June or July.
Yates said armyworms would feed on a variety of forage crops but prefer lush green well-fertilized bermudagrass.
Yates said Polk County farmers and ranchers should scout their pastures and hayfields for fall armyworms. He suggested farmers and ranchers examine at least 10 one square foot samples at random across their fields. He said female fall armyworm moths prefer to lay eggs in areas with abundant growth.
Yates said armyworms could be controlled with insecticides when three or more worms per square foot are found. The extension office has a list of insecticides, but recommends reading label instructions and following harvesting and grazing restrictions.
The list includes Mastang Max, Baythroid, Tombstone, Lambda-cy AG, Warrior II, Sevin XLR Plus, Intrepid, Blackhawk, Prevathon, and Besiege.
Additional information is available at “Managing Armyworms in Pastures and Hayfields” at www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-7083.pdf.
For more information, contact the Polk County Extension Office at 479-394-6018 or stop by the office at 211 DeQueen Street in Mena, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.