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WNY Sweet Corn Pheromone Trap Network 1998

Project Leader: Abby Seaman

Objectives:

1. Continue a network of pheromone traps for sweet corn pests in western and central NY.

2. Provide regional trapping information and recommendations to agents, processor field staff, and consultants working with sweet corn.

3. Provide regional trapping information to processor field staff and growers.

Results:

Three of the important insect pests of sweet corn, European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm, are moths in their adult stage and larvae (or "worms") in their immature stage, during which they cause damage to sweet corn. A network of traps baited with the pheromones that male and female moths use to find each other was set up across western New York. The trap network allows growers, consultants, and Cooperative Extension and processing company field staff to track the flights of the adults of these three pests, and make informed decisions about when sweet corn fields need to be scouted or treated with an insecticide. In 1998, European corn borer populations were relatively low, especially during the second-generation flight, and growers were able to harvest good quality sweet corn using fewer insecticide applications. Later in the season, flights of corn earworm and fall armyworm were very high in many areas. The information from the trap network alerted growers to the high populations and helped them time their insecticide applications to obtain optimal control.