University of Tennessee Extension entomologist Russ Patrick warns Tennessee producers that armyworms may be waiting to devour their wheat crop.

“It is possible to have true armyworms occur in the spring in wheat,” Patrick said. “Many times these pests can denude the wheat and leave the producer with nothing or with delayed growth.”

Patrick says producers should check their wheat for signs of damage, especially during late April and early May. “If temperatures higher than normal occur, then the insects will emerge sooner and attack whatever is green (wheat) at the time,” he warned.

A number of insecticides are labeled for use on wheat to control the pests. Growers should check the insect guide published online at http://www.UTcrops.com. A complete list of rates and materials to use is available.

Producers can also contact the agricultural agent at their county UT Extension office.