Big Country seeing rise in army worms

The Big Country is seeing a rise in the number of army worms in the area.
"We've tried to be as quick to respond as we can because the army worms can be devastating to the crop," said Lanny Vinson, Vice President of Abilene AG Service and Supply.

After the recent rainfall in the Big Country, more reports of army worms are surfacing.

"There seems to be a larger spread of army worms across the area, not only in the Big Country, but in Texas and Oklahoma as well," said Robert Pritz, County Extension Agent of AG and Natural Resources. "We're seeing a lot of army worm activity, so that's why we're encouraging producers to be on the lookout."

Army worm outbreaks tend to take place in pastures and hay fields following rain, which allows eggs and larvae to live in high numbers.

"It makes it more conducive for the moths to fly in, lay their eggs, hatch their larvae, and have the caterpillars actually cause some damage," said Pritz.

Calls from farmers to Abilene AG Service and Supply regarding army worms have risen.

"It's been pretty widespread. I mean, I've heard from all the way up north as far as Wichita Falls," said Vinson. "It's a real big problem for everybody right now."

The army worms will not clear out any time soon, mainly due to the need for colder weather.

"We're going to be dealing with this situation until we get to our first killing frost," said Pritz.

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