Sac and Buena Vista 4-H Crop Scouts are participating with Iowa State University to collect research data on the number of Western Bean Cutworm Moths traveling the midwest.
About a dozen Buena Vista and Sac 4-Hers volunteers and their parents met in early July to be trained and receive supplies for making their Western Bean Cutworm traps.
The team was hosted by Monsanto Technology Development Manager, Jim McDermitt of Spencer, at the Storm Lake Monsanto Field Research Plot. McDermitt guided the 4-H'ers through tasseled corn focusing on plant staging, root development and growth, along with pest management. ISU Extension Crops Specialist, Paul Kassel, outlined the expectations of their Western Bean Cutworm trapping and demonstrated the use of the sweep net for use in scouting bean fields.
Local 4-H'ers are a part of Western Bean Cutworm monitoring in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. The new local 4-H Crop Scout Team will continue until the peak flight of the Western Bean Cutworm has occurred. They record their findings on a public ISU Web site found at http://www.ent.iastate.edu/trap/westernb....
The Western bean cutworm (WBC) is a new pest in Iowa and can produce severe damage in corn and dry beans.
Larval feeding damages both crops through reduced yield and quality. Scouting began the first of July when moths are first noticed and special pheromone traps were built by 4-H'ers and placed on their farms.
The 4-H'ers will look at the daily trap catches on the farms they are studying to see if a marked increase is followed by decrease (1 - 3 days of declining numbers) in the moths captured indicating a peak flight. If the crop scouts note a decrease they need to consider other factors that may have caused this decrease like rainfall, high winds, and cold temperatures. These environmental factors may decrease the number of moths in flight and the local 4-H Crop Scouts would not be seeing a true peak flight.
ISU Entomologists say that once an area has passed peak flight, egg laying will decrease with the decrease in moth numbers. Scouting should continue for 7 - 10 days after the peak flight.
Because the local 4-H Crop Scouts are a part of Iowa State University Entomologist's research in gathering data on this new pest, there is a need to track the entire moth flight. They will be monitoring their traps until August 15.
The information is based on our current understanding of this new pest. Research is being conducted to improve the scouting and management guidelines. To find out more visit the Nebraska Extension Web site at: http://www.ianrpubs. unl.edu/epublic/live/g1359/build/g1359.pdf
The Buena Vista/Sac 4-H Crop Scout members include:
*Buena Vista County:
Austin Ehlers, Nicholas Klahs and Joe Sandhoff, Storm Lake; Mitch and Nick Sievers, Albert City.
*Sac County: Ben Degner, Fonda; Derek Huser, Sac City; Tyler Pickhinke, Early; Craig Blass, Sac City.
The young members say they are learning a lot about agriculture - as well as pesty bugs - by taking part in the unique kid-powered studies that may eventually help midwestern farmers and scientists better understand future threats to their fields.
For more information about this or other ISU Extension 4-H and Youth Programs contact the Buena Vista County Extension or Sac County Extension.