For the past ten years, real-time information has been provided to Texas farmers about moth activity in counties across the Texas High Plains. Continuing this effort is something Texas Corn Producers Board (TCPB) is excited to bring to farmers again in 2021. 

This checkoff-funded project gives farmers first-hand information on pests within certain counties. These counts can help farmers determine when an economic threshold has been met, giving farmers an optimal time to spray pesticides. 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agents in Dallam, Deaf Smith, Gray, and Hartley counties partner with farmers to collect moth count data on four different pests present in cornfields during the growing season: Southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, Western bean cutworm, and corn earworm. This project provides information to farmers on moths that are active during the corn growing season. Although there are general trends in moth activity, there are yearly variations when moth activity happens during the season. 

Providing information to farmers about moth activity during the upcoming growing season will allow farmers to know the extent of the threat these pests pose to their crops. This research offers valuable insight for Texas farmers, making the decision-making process easier down the road when spraying crops is necessary.     

Deaf Smith County began reporting results the first week in June while Dallam, Gray and Hartley counties began reporting in the middle of the month. County extension agents will count the traps until the end of August.

 TCPB will post the weekly trapping information on its website at TexasCorn.org. Additionally, farmers may follow @TexasCorn on Twitter for the weekly updates. Be on the lookout for the first week’s data at the end of the month!

Find out more about this and other research efforts funded by TCPB HERE.

June 15 Update:

The Southwestern corn borer (Table 1) has not made its appearance in any traps yet.

Table 1

Table 1: Southwestern Corn Borer

Numbers for the fall armyworm (Table 2) have been low, except at Deaf Smith County’s central trapping location. 

Table 2

Table 2: Fall Army Worm

The Western bean cutworm (Table 3) has been quiet in Gray County but has been found in Deaf Smith traps.

Table 3

Table 3: Western Bean Cutworm

While numbers from week 1 to week 2 have varied by location, Gray County is seeing the most activity for corn earworms (Table 4) at this time.

Table 4

Table 4: Corn Earworm

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