Fall armyworm on cornCounty extension personnel with IPM training can have a big impact on growers in their counties.
An agricultural county extension agent in western Kentucky used his IPM training to evaluate growers' chances of controlling fall armyworm in their corn fields. His recommendations saved many from wasting time and money on ineffective pesticide applications.

Saving Application Dollars from Going to Waste

The weather in 1990 caused changes in production practices that resulted in increased pest problems, specifically fall armyworm (FAW) in corn. Because of his training and participation in IPM, a western Kentucky Agricultural Extension Agent was able to save his non-IPM clients considerable dollars.

FAW is difficult to control, requiring proper timing of application, selection of pesticide, and method of application. Incorrect implementation of any one of these items will result in NO control. In 1990 this agent recommended to several producers not to try application because they would not result in control. This act saved the producers approximately $10.00 per acre by not wasting chemicals and application costs.

In eight specific cases that the agent could recall, impacting approximately 2000 acres, his recommendations led to a $20,000 savings. The actual impact, however, far exceeded this value. Not included in the above listed account are the effects of his radio and newspaper recommendations. Additionally, by not applying an unneeded application he had a positive impact on pesticide residue in foods, in the environment and on non-target animal species.

Worker Safety: The preferred pesticides for control of late season FAW are often among the most toxic (restricted use) insecticides. By not applying the treatments NO workers handled approximately 700 lbs of active ingredient (2100 formulation).

Water Quality: Both of the common pesticides preferred for use on late season FAW control are considered high risk for ground water exposure and either high or medium risk for surface water exposure. Not recommending these treatments prevented approximately 700 lb ai (2100 lb formulation) from entering the environment.

Non-target Species: The preferred pesticides for control of late season FAW are among the least species specific and have the greatest toxicity. By not recommending these treatments, approximately 700 lbs ai (2100 lb formulation) did not enter the environment of the predators and parasites that play such a vital role in keeping pests in check.


Douglas W. Johnson, IPM Coordinator
Extension Entomologist
Research and Education Center
P.O. Box 469
Princeton, KY 42445

Kentucky IPM
University of Kentucky Integrated Pest Management Program

Original document: 13 April 1998
Last updated: 24 April 2001

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