UNL CropWatch June 18, 2010: Variegated Cutworms Found in Alfalfa

UNL CropWatch June 18, 2010: Variegated Cutworms Found in Alfalfa

June 18, 2010

Photo - Variegated Cutworm

I have received several reports of variegated cutworm damaging alfalfa in south central Nebraska. This is a relatively common cutworm in alfalfa, and if abundant, it may slow regrowth after the first cutting. If areas of a field are slower to regrow after cutting, scout for possible cutworm feeding.

Variegated cutworms reach 1.5-2 inches in length at maturity, and are pale yellow to brown in color. A key character to look for is a row of 4-6 yellow diamond-shaped spots along the back of the caterpillar.

A variety of insecticides would be effective if control is desired. See the UNL Department of Entomology website for a list of products and rates.

Bob Wright
Extension Entomologist, Lincoln