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Cool, Wet Spring Brings Army Worms to Pastureland

While we'd like to think we're smart enough to never turn down rain, the heavy rains of this spring are bringing some problems the southeast hasn't seen in a while. Frank Jones, range and pasture specialist for the southeastern US for DuPont Pioneer, explains that an infestation of army worms can decimate a pasture in a very short period of time:

“They will completely destroy yields and once you find army worms in your fields, you have about two days until they turn into nothing but stench. They are several varieties of army worms."

Jones suggests good old-fashioned scouting of pastures for an infestation of army worms:

“Its important to look at it more regularly. Open the grass up, and as soon as you do that, if they are there they will fall down on the ground and you can find them. If you find more than 3-4 worms per square foot you are at the threshold and you need to spray right away."

Jones says the moths that lay the eggs that soon hatch into the devastating worms typically swarm a few days before or after a full moon.
DuPont has recently received a label registration for a systemic insecticide especially for army worms in pasture:

“We have a new product in the market called Prevathon, newly labeled for pasture and hay. It came out of a formula we introduced about four years ago for vegetables and it provides excellent worm control."

Unlike other products, Prevathon has no haying or grazing restrictions, explains Jones:

“Our product is very safe. There is no haying or grazing restrictions and it works quickly on the worm and its systemic, meaning it gets in the plant and doesn’t just stay on the outside where it can be washed off. It goes into the plant through the leaf surfaces and the roots and it will give you 30-40 day residual worm control."

To learn more about Prevathon from DuPont visit is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.