The second generation of European corn borer is in full swing. That may not be significant unless you have non-GMO corn. Word is that there may be more fields of non-GMO corn around this year than in the past, if for no other reason than seed was cheaper.
Even if you don't have non-GMO corn now but are thinking about it next year to shave seed costs, pay attention to what Christy Kettler says about corn borer. She is a Purdue University student, a junior majoring in agronomy and ag economics. She is also an intern for Beck's Hybrids this year. You can find her reports each Wednesday here on the Web. You will find report nine with more about European corn borer here tomorrow.
Kettler has trapped for insect moths for various insects, depending upon the season, since she began the scouting internship earlier this year. She is guided by Denny Cobb and others. Cobb is a veteran agronomist for Beck's Hybrids. He helps her know how to interpret what her moth flight catches mean, and what it could mean for corn borers in the field.
Corn borer is an inconsistent pest in Indiana, meaning it is worse some years than others. While not as common and as frequent a pest here as the western Corn Belt, agronomists and crop consultants have noted over the past couple of seasons that corn borer numbers have been relatively high in non-GMO fields.
For the most part GMO-fields remain unaffected. However, rumors that the pest is extinct and can be forgotten about are greatly exaggerated. Kettle attests to that, since she has found numerous moths in her traps which use a pheromone, a natural scent, to attract the moths.
Once second generation corn borers hatch, they enter the stalk and ear shank. Scouting and spraying them is difficult because once they are inside the stalk, they are no longer impacted by spraying.