Armyworms marching on Wichita Co. farms

Armyworms marching on Wichita Co. farms

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The cloudy and wet weather has resulted in an armyworm infestations in Wichita County.

Taylor Kelley, CEO of Kelley Farms, said his farm on Bacon Ranch Rd. is one of the lucky ones.

“They’ve came in and eaten a lot of the foliage, a lot of the wheat you see behind us," Kelley said. “It’s really taken a hard hit but really not that much.”

Kelley is a conventional till farmer which means he plows and plants at the same time. He said that removes some of the cover plants armyworms use to hide from the sun and birds. It also gives the seeds a seven day window to sprout.

Despite all that and pesticides, he has an estimated 1,000 armyworms per acre. He said they can eat one acre in just one night.

Kelley said armyworms eat wheat crops which makes it harder for farmers to feed their cattle.

“It could mean low income," Kelley said. "It could mean a lot of things. Your armyworms will eat your hay and that will drive the price of hay up. That makes it more expensive for the farmer to feed his cattle during winter time.”

He said he expects armyworms to go underground to become pulpa then they will become moths. He hopes the damage they cause his farm will not get worse.

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