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Final Results of the 2001 European Corn Borer Fall Survey

November 9, 2001
Final results of the 2001 preharvest European corn borer survey are presented in Table 1 (by county) and Table 2 (by region). With the exception of southeastern counties (Franklin, Saline, and White), the 2001 level of European corn borers exceeded the density of this pest encountered by farmers in 2000. Very significant increases in infestation levels occurred in 2001 for northeastern (+45.4%), east-central (+33.2%), and northwestern counties (+20.4%). The overwintering population of European corn borers is worth noting for the northeastern region (1.98 borers per plant) of Illinois. This is an increase of 1.65 borers per plant from the previous year. Densities of overwintering borers also are above average for east-central (1.34 borers per plant) and northwestern (1.40 borers per plant) counties. If diseases (Beauveria bassiana and Nosema pyrausta) fail to reduce densities of overwintering larvae, producers in these regions of the state should expect to see a spring flight of moths that is larger than in recent memory. This, coupled with early planting, could result in economic levels of the first generation of European corn borers.

On the other hand, as we've mentioned many times in the past, stormy spring weather during the mating and egg-laying period of moths could cause the first-generation population to crash. These uncertain scenarios make it very difficult for producers who are making their seed-selection choices for the 2002 growing season. Although we don't know what the spring weather will be like next year, we do know that for many counties there are more overwintering European corn borers headed into the winter of 2001­2002.--Mike Gray and Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey Mike Gray

The Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin
Executive Editor: Kevin Steffey, Extension Entomologist

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