While European corn borer numbers have greatly decreased regionally since the introduction of the first Bt corns, local populations may still cause damage on untraited corn such as popcorn or white corn or in field planted to non-BT corn to take advantage of lower seed costs. These fields should be scouted now.
Heavy populations of immature grasshoppers were found in field borders in south central Nebraska corn fields this week. Scout and if numbers warrant, treat now when they're small and concentrated in borders. See story for identification tips, treatment thresholds, and control recommendations.
In 2017 large populations of painted lady butterflies were seen across the state, raising concerns about whether the larvae form (thistle caterpillars) of this insect would cause damage to soybean fields.
UNL Extension Entomology is monitoring crop insect pests (primarily moths) using black light traps at the Haskell Ag Laboratory near Concord, the South Central Ag Laboratory near Clay Center, and the West Central Research and Extension Center near North Platte.
High populations of alfalfa weevils have been found in alfalfa throughout the Nebraska Panhandle; lower populations were reported this week in central and eastern Nebraska. The economics would warrant continued scouting through June to provide for timely treatment, if necessary, and yield protection.
As corn begins to emerge, be alert to the potential for damage from early season insects such as cutworms, wireworms, white grubs or wheat stem maggot. Seed treatments provide some protection, but can be overwhelmed in some circumstances, allowing losses.
From the 2018 Crop Production Clinic Proceedings: Corn rootworm continues to be a problem for Nebraska growers who rotate crops infrequently. Additionally, resistance to insecticides and some Bt corn reduces efficacy of these important tools in some fields.