File photo
                                If left unchecked, fall armyworms can cause severe damage to crops.

Preparing for fall armyworm management in hay and pastures

As August quickly approaches, hay producers should have fall armyworm on their radar. The fall armyworm is a common pest in grass hay and pastures and can decimate a crop overnight. To correctly identify the pest, look for caterpillars with dark heads that are usually marked with a distinct, pale, inverted “Y” on top. Typically, you will find a black stripe down each side of their body and a yellowish-gray stripe down their back. Fall armyworms come in a variety of colors including green, brown or black, which can make identification difficult.