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Sweet Corn Pheromone Trap Network for Western New
This is a seasonal scouting report giving growers in the Western New York area information on the presence of sweet corn pests and recommendations on scouting and thresholds. The report is written by Abby Seaman, NYS IPM's Area Extension Educator for Vegetables.
ECB E and Z race catches increased at most locations this week, but at two of the historically "high catch" locations, Farmington and Medina, numbers remain low. ECB egg-laying appears to be just starting. I did not find any egg masses during a brief search this morning, and a consultant in western NY reported finding two by mid-afternoon. Neither of us found any signs of larvae or feeding damage this week. With the lower temperatures in the forecast for the next week, new egg masses will need 8-10 days to hatch.
Split field demonstrations have shown that applying insecticides to sweet corn for worm control before tassel emergence does not produce better results than waiting until the recommended tassel-emergence timing. Corn started under plastic or row cover is an exception to this rule.
Fields started under plastic or row cover will be very attractive to egg-laying moths because the plants are larger than those in bare ground fields. We have found that using the usual tassel emergence scouting and thresholds do not work in corn started under plastic or row cover. John Mishanec has had good results in trials in which pheromone trap catches were used to time sprays in row cover or plastic corn. Growers waited until there was a significant increase in the ECB trap catches in their area and then timed sprays to coincide with egg hatch. ECB eggs require 100 degree days (base 50) from oviposition to hatch.