Alabama is experiencing a high number of migrating fall armyworm moths. Many people in the area have been complaining about them and asking questions on social media over the past few days.

Additionally, the state has experienced numerous rainfall events to put the yearly total above average.

This frequency of rain creates a favorable environment for fall armyworm eggs and larvae to survive in large numbers.

It also creates lush, green fields that attract armyworms. In some cases, producers are unable to access fields for control because of excess water.

Scouting

Scouting is the best way to determine if and how many fall armyworms are present.

Grasses can be inspected by getting kneeling and looking at the top of the grass blades during cooler parts of the day and down near the soil surface during the hotter parts of the day.

A soap flush in turf may also be used to detect infestations.

For row crops and forages, a sweep net is an easy method to sample for armyworms. While scouting, people should note both the size and number of fall armyworms.

This will help determine the proper control strategy.

For more on this story please pick up Thursday’s Tribune or purchase an e-edition.

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