Undergraduate Research Journal


According to DuPont Pioneer, Western Bean Cutworm (WBCW) larval infestations can reduce the corn yield by 15-20%. Western Bean Cutworm can be found throughout the Corn Belt and are destructive because their feeding may cause a variety of molds to be introduced to the ear, which reduces the grain quality and negatively affects yield. Genes such as Herculex may provide suppression, but a timely insecticide treatment will provide more control of the WBCW.

Insecticide treatments can be applied aerially or by chemigation and are typically applied to prevent insect infestations or to control an infestation that is higher than desired. The type of insecticide used varies between producers, as well as what insect is being controlled. In this study, the WBCW is the insect that is under examination.

Previous studies have examined economic injury levels and economic thresholds in corn as they relate to insects. Using proprietary data and comparative analysis, this study examines Western Bean Cutworm (WBCW) egg and larvae infestation counts in corn fields in Kearney, Phelps, and Dawson counties of Nebraska. The data was collected from corn fields within five miles of the Platte River, as well as from corn fields outside of the five mile range of the Platte River (referred to as Non Platte fields). The fields under examination were treated if the WBCW infestation was equal to or greater than 10%. The next section reviews previous studies in relation to this study.

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