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Solutions by FMC Agricultural Products Profile: Cutworms


PHILADELPHIA – May 23, 2013 – A cool, wet spring has established good soil moisture conditions across much of the Corn Belt but has delayed spring planting. With storm systems carrying black cutworm moths up from the Southwest, traps have shown the arrival of these pests in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri as early as the third week of April. According to the technical team at FMC Agricultural Products, maximizing plant stand will be critical for preserving yield, and preventative insecticide treatments will help to reduce the risks associated with cutworm damage. 

“We’ll see later corn planting this season, which means we will also experience the risks associated with late planting,” said Nick Hustedde, FMC Agricultural Products North America technical sales representative. “Corn will be smaller and more vulnerable to black cutworm damage for a longer period of time, compared to last year when corn plants were larger and less susceptible to cutting during damaging instars.” 

Fields at greatest risk for cutworm activity include those with heavy plant residue from the previous year, dense winter annual weed growth, fields located near permanent vegetation such as woods, streams or grass strips, fields cropped to alfalfa or pasture last year and areas coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program. 

“Surface treatment is cheap insurance against stand loss,” said Gail Stratman, FMC Agricultural Products North America technical sales lead. “Once the plants are gone, you can’t get them back.”

FMC offers several crop protection options for cutworm control in corn including Mustang® Maxx and Hero® insecticides at a rate of 2.0 to 2.5 ounces per acre, surface applied at-plant prior to corn emergence or as a foliar rescue. Mustang Maxx may also be applied preplant with burndown herbicides, residual herbicides or fertilizers. 

“Assume 180 bushel per acre corn at 30,000 plants per acre. Every 1,000 plants equal six bushels per acre. If a preventative insecticide treatment protects an extra 1,000 plants per acre at $5.25 corn, this translates to an increase in revenue of $32 per acre,” said Hustedde.


The other solution offered by FMC is to apply Capture® LFR® insecticide at a rate of 3.4 to 4.0 ounces per acre in-furrow at planting. Capture LFR provides broad spectrum activity on cutworms in addition to other insect pests including rootworms, wireworms, grubs and seed maggots. 

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About FMC

FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial, environmental and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. In 2012, FMC had annual sales of approximately $3.7 billion. The company employs approximately 5,700 people throughout the world, and operates its businesses in four segments: FMC Agricultural Solutions, FMC Health and Nutrition, FMC Minerals, and FMC Peroxygens. For more information, visit


Always read and follow label directions. Mustang Maxx, Hero and Capture LFR are restricted use pesticides. Mustang Maxx, Hero and Capture LFR are not registered for use in California. FMC, Capture, LFR, Mustang and Hero are trademarks of FMC Corporation. © 2013 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. F100-030100 – 5/13