— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Davis
Armyworm larvae are apparently getting large enough now to cause noticeable feeding damage in a few places in southeast and north central Kansas. Armyworms prefer grasses; thus they are now feeding on brome. They should not be a problem while these good growing conditions are allowing the plants to outgrow the armyworm feeding. However, this is the 1st generation of this common pest and we usually have 2-3 per year.
If conditions remain good for plant growth, armyworms should not be a problem. However, they sometimes feed in wheat and when the leaves start to senesce, they move to the beards to feed and /or clip the heads, which can be problematic if there are large numbers. After wheat and other grasses senesce, the armyworms often move to corn and sorghum where they may cause some alarm by feeding on the leaf tissue between the leaf veins or feeding in the whorl which may contribute to the ragged-looking leaves as they grow out of the whorl.