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Dingy Cutworm in Northwestern North Dakota and Eastern Montana
August 21, 2008

In June 2008, NDSU Extension Entomology received reports of several thousand acres of pulse crops, mainly lentils and peas, being impacted by dingy cutworm (Feltia jaculifera) larvae in northwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana.

Patrick Beauzay, research specialist at NDSU Extension said it appears the problem is under control because the applications of Mustang Max insecticide were effective.

We will see at harvest what kind of loss was incurred.  

Its been a problem for the past few years in that particular area but this year happened to be exceptionally bad. Dingy cutworm over winters as partially grown larvae.  Larvae emerge in May and early June and begin feeding. It could be because of the dry conditions that prevent the growth of naturally occurring fungi that will grow on those cutworm larvae and kill them. That may not have happened this year. Or at least not enough to offer any kind of control. We really dont know why, says Beauzay.

Considering the conditions the area is having now, will it have an affect on next years infestation? Beauzay says its too early to tell but given what has happen to that part of the country, I would definitely want growers to be aware that the potential exists again and to get out and scout their fields next spring.

Beauzay stresses that it is important for growers to keep in touch. Any problems they are having need to be conveyed to their county extension agent who will in
turn contact us, or the growers can contact us directly. The point is they need to be able to use that resource.

Dingy cutworm has a wide variety of host plants including peas, lentils, alfalfa, sun-flower, corn, and wheat. For information on crops, chemicals and rates, see NDSU

Extension publication E-1143 available in print or on-line at:


Dealing With Frozen Beans

If Mother Nature decides to send us an early frost, the NDSU Extension Service has a few harvesting tips to deal with frozen dry edible beans.
" Pinto and navy beans are very sensitive to frost (30-32 degree range).

" Earlier pods with yellow to brown color are sufficiently mature to escape damage.

" Late green pods or flowers are easily damaged by frost.

" Harvest at the maximum moisture permissible around 17-18 % moisture for navy beans and 14-16 % for pinto beans.

" Keep frost damaged or late maturing beans separate from better quality beans.



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