AVON, (AP) - Armyworms are being blamed for damaging a number of central Minnesota cornfields.

Glen Ritter says the corn in his 20-acre field near Avon in Stearns County should be shoulder-high by now. Instead, he says, the field is probably a total loss.

And Randy Smude says pests he thinks are armyworms ruined about 17 of the 150 acres he's planted near Pine Center in Crow Wing County.

Bruce Potter of the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center has heard from observers there's a large arc of infestation of armyworms from southeast Minnesota, through east-central and central Minnesota into North Dakota.

Geir Friisoe of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says it's unusual to see armyworms this far north, but they can be devastating when they show up in large numbers.