"There are several pest cutworm species affecting Canadian Prairie crops. Much of the time, their impact is negligible. However, from time to time, outbreaks occur. These can be localized to small areas in a field or widespread across a large region, they can last years and, most importantly, can cause significant economic damage.
The key to successful cutworm management and limiting their impact is by first correctly identifying the species causing damage. Then, through an understanding of its biology, lifecycle, preferred habitats, behaviour, influences of climate and weather, and interactions with natural enemies and other factors, you can exploit its weaknesses by knowing when to control (susceptible stage and time of day) and only when it makes economic sense. Learning how to recognize damage, detect the species (scouting), and take advantage of natural processes are additional important elements in a management strategy."
This is the Introduction from the NEW Cutworm Pests of Crops on the Canadian Prairies - Identification and Management Field Guide, by Dr. Kevin Floate. In it, you'll find detailed information on each of the important economic cutworm species. There are also sections on general biology, history of outbreaks, scouting techniques, the important role that natural enemies play and a list of additional information sources. [Funding for preparation of this publication was provided by the Canola Council of Canada (CARP Project No. 2012-1) with contributions from the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission (SaskCanola) and the Manitoba Canola Growers Association in partnership with the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund]
Download:English: Cutworm Pests of Crops on the Canadian Prairies (7 MB)
French: Vers-gris ravageurs des cultures dans les Prairies canadiennes (7 MB)