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Issue No. 6, Article 3/May 5, 2006

Soil Insect Pests in Corn Will Be Noted Soon

As corn emerges throughout the state, a lot of people will be in cornfields checking plant populations and looking for problems. Undoubtedly, some will encounter one or more of the myriad insects (and other subterranean animals) that are common in cornfields. Already we have received a handful of reports of white grubs (species unknown), occasionally in large numbers. G. Kelly Robertson, with CPAg, found white grubs, slugs, and earthworms in no-till corn in Hamilton County on April 29. Although there were as many as four grubs per foot of row, there was no apparent injury to the corn.

As scouting efforts intensify, please keep track of the types of invertebrates you find in cornfields. As we all know, white grubs and wireworms are two subterranean insect pests most frequently encountered at this time of year, but everyone should be watchful for other pests, too, such as grape colaspis larvae and seedcorn maggots. Although millipedes and slugs are not insects, these animals often are encountered by scouts, so it's a good idea to be able to recognize them. Continued wet weather will favor survival of slugs.

Keep your eyes open for above-ground pests, too. Cutworms have been discussed in previous articles in the Bulletin, as well as in this issue. Other insect pests to keep on the radar include armyworms and flea beetles (both discussed in previous articles in the Bulletin), as well as billbugs and southern corn leaf beetles. As always, we will appreciate hearing any insect-related news from the fields during this very busy time of year.--Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey

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