One of the most pronounced impacts of environmental change is unpredictable weather in spring. Shifts in weather conditions in late winter and early spring have led to shifts in the seasonal timing of plant and animal growth, reproduction, and movements. In response to environmental change, the seasonal timing of agricultural production and pest migration are predicted to continue to deviate from historical norms.
Institute Fellow Adam Fudickar and Research Associate Dustin Brewer are investigating the environmental conditions that determine the seasonal distribution of global agricultural pests, such as the black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon), to help farmers manage their crops. Black cutworm, a moth species that can cause significant damage to Indiana crops, is particularly harmful to corn in the early growing season. By identifying the environmental cues that determine when migratory pests invade Indiana, the researchers will be positioned to provide farmers with more accurate predictions of future invasions.