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European Corn Borer Update

June 21, 2002
We've had several articles in the Bulletin concerning the importance of scouting for European corn borer first-generation injury. Hopefully the advice has been heeded by many folks in the southern one-third of the state. Kevin Black, Growmark Company, reported on June 18 that many cornfields in southern Illinois are supporting healthy densities of first-, second-, and third-instar European corn borer larvae. Kevin indicated that most of the larvae were in the second-instar stage; however, many borers were moving into the midribs. This is a very good field-level signal that tunneling into stalks is occurring in some fields. Folks in central and northern Illinois also should begin to "dust" off their corn borer scouting skills and examine fields for whorl-feeding injury. Matthew Heisner, a summer intern in the Department of Crop Sciences, reported that he observed many moths in his father's oat field in DeKalb County that was being harvested. The oats were likely serving as a very suitable action site for the moths--at least prior to the harvest. European corn borer fall surveys conducted last year revealed large overwintering densities in northern and east-central Illinois counties. So, producers, particularly in these areas, should not ignore the potential for economic infestations this summer. Let us know the results of your scouting efforts!--Mike Gray

Mid-rib injury caused by European corn borer larvae.

Author: Mike Gray

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

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