There are a number of species of cutworms which are variable in color. All have a hardened shield on top of the body behind the head. Cutworms are active just under the soil surface and will curl into a ball if disturbed (not to be confused with white grubs, or Japanese beetle grubs, which are C-shaped). Cutworms can attack seedling plants by girdling or cutting through young stems. Some cutworms, such as the dingy cutworm, also prefer to lay eggs in soybean fields, and can contribute to high populations in corn if it follows in the rotation.
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