OKLAHOMA – A seasonal issue has come roaring back into Oklahoma, though many farmers said this year is the worst yet, as wheat continues to die.
Farmers are on the hunt for a miniature army that’s caused a massive problem.
“It’s been the worst that we’ve seen in a while, for sure,” said local farmer Drake Gard. “You’re looking for little green worms to be hiding in the foliage.”
Hiding in plain sight just beneath the dirt, they’re called fall armyworms, and they’ve marched all across Oklahoma.
“We’ve seen them in pretty much every county,” said Josh Bushong with Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
In large numbers, they’ve devastated northwest Oklahoma wheat, turning green fields to dirt.
“We can see patches out there, where they’ve been,” Bushong said. “48 hours to a few days, and they can start taking out a significant portion of that field.”
It’s a problem without a clear solution.
Costly pesticides may kill the infestation but, before long, a new batch may hit.
Many farms simply replant, placing their blame on this year’s rain.
“Just the environmental conditions favored the population to explode,” Bushong said.
For the time being, the worms will continue to migrate till the weather takes a turn.
“Freezes helps stop the issue,” Bushong said. “It’s a real expensive problem without a cheap solution.”