John Van Duyn, North Carolina State University, Entomology Extension Specialist

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Cutworms damage seedling soybeans by cutting the stem just below the cotyledons. These light gray to almost black caterpillars (from 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches long) commonly occur in soybean fields, especially no-tillage fields, but rarely kill enough seedlings to affect yield. However, occasionally fields may suffer enough damage to warrant treatment, if discovered in time. If cutworms is not discovered early enough, replanting may be necessary. Before replanting, it is a good idea to examine the field for the continued presence of cutworms and, if high numbers are present, treat the affected area when the replanted seedlings emerge. During daylight hours cutworms hide within the ground or under surface trash.

Soybean Page

Other Resources

  1. North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual
  2. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

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This page ( was created by John W. Van Duyn Ph D. Extension Entomologist, Wayne Modlin, Res. Tech. III.

Date Created 2/22/00.
Last revised on 2/04/04.

Published by North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

CAUTION : The information and recommendations in these Notes were developed for North Carolina conditions and may not apply elsewhere.