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Annual Fall Survey of European Corn Borers Is Under Way

October 4, 2002
As has occurred every year (except 1997 and 1998) since the mid-1940s, Extension entomologists are coordinating the annual fall survey of European corn borers in Illinois. Several Extension and research specialists and Extension educators began sampling cornfields in September, and the survey will continue until all designated counties have been sampled. It's possible that someone is surveying in your area as you read this article (unless you're reading at night--at least we assume no one samples at night).

The protocol for these surveys is fairly simple. Within each county designated for surveying, the surveyor drives along highways and county roads, randomly selecting 10 fields that fairly represent the different areas of the county. The surveyor walks into the field at least 50 paces beyond the turn rows and counts off 25 consecutive plants for examination. All plants infested with European corn borer larvae are counted and recorded. Two of the infested plants are split in half with a knife, and all borers are counted and recorded. The surveyor also notes the numbers of stalks broken above and below the ear and the number of ears dropped on the ground. The percentage of infestation and average number of borers per infested plant are determined for each field. After all 10 fields have been sampled, the percentage of infestation and average number of borers per plant are determined for the county. The county data are used to determine averages for crop reporting districts.--Kevin Steffey

Author: Kevin Steffey

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

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