After a very quiet spring, fall armyworm trap captures shot up this week to twice the 6-year average. The average trap capture this week was 228, but significantly, 106 of these were caught in the last two nights. This indicates that a possible very rapid population increase might be underway.
I was taking data this morning in a corn trial near Ralls. The corn was at V8 growth stage, and the non-Bt corn in the trial ranged from 20 - 50% of the plants per plot with fall armyworm damage. In the plots with the most damage, the average damage rating was 5 on a 1-9 scale. This is still below the level of concern, but if we are indeed in a time of rapid fall armyworm increase then noticeable damage in sorghum and non-Bt corn will be appearing soon.