Jun 6, 2019, 10:00 AM
When everything looks great from a distance, don’t forget to get out of the pickup and check your sunflower fields for cutworms this time of year. Sunflowers can have irreversible damage in the seedling stage from several species of cutworms. Damage is caused by cutting off the seedling, sometimes below the cotyledon or before they even emerge out of the ground. As the plant matures, damage moves to the leaves and the plant is typically able to recover (V4-V6 stage).
Photo Credit: SDSU iGrow
taken by J. Gavloski, MAFRI
|Redbacked Cutworm (left
Darksided Cutworm (right)
Photo Credit: Agriculture Canada
|Sunflowers damaged by cutworms
at the soil surface.
|Cutworm damage at V4 Stage|
To minimize stand loss in the spring, scout for cutworms through at least the V4 stage. Once a plant is cut below the cotyledon it will not come back.
Compendium of Sunflower Diseases, 2016
Author: Nuseed Product Development Manager Alison Pokrzywinski