Strategies for controlling pests are an integral part of any agricultural management plan. Most field crops, such as wheat (Triticum spp.) and corn (Zea mays L.) are managed as if they are homogeneous units. However, pests within fields are rarely homogenous. Development of plans that use targeted pest control tactics requires knowledge of the ecological drivers of the pest species. That is, by understanding the spatio-temporal factors influencing pest populations, we can develop management strategy to prevent or reduce pest damage. This study was conducted to quantify variables influencing the spatial variability of adult male western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta (Smith). Striacosta albicosta moths were collected in pheromone traps in two center pivot, irrigated corn fields near Wiggins, CO. We hypothesized that moth abundance would be influenced by the distance from the edge of the field, distance to nearest alternative corn crop and affected by anisotropic effects, such as prevailing wind direction. Greater trap catches of S. albicosta in each of the fields were found with increased proximity to the edge of the field, if the nearest neighboring crop was corn. Prevailing wind direction and directional effects were found to influence abundance. Results serve as a first step toward building a precision pest management system for controlling S. albicosta.
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