No. 11 Article 2/June 4, 2004

Stink Bug Injury in Corn

Significant injury caused by stink bugs was reported by Travis Weaver, with UAP Richter in Blandinsville. Several areas of infected fields have injury damage levels approaching 20%. Stink bug feeding is generally sporadic on corn. However, mild winters, corn following wheat or rye, and reduced tillage all favor stink bug injury.

Symptoms of stink bug injury in early spring include stunting, abnormal growth, and tillering. Stink bugs possess piercing/sucking mouthparts. When they pierce the plant's stem or leaves, they inject digestive enzymes that can be phytotoxic to the plant and cause growth abnormalities. Lines of little holes in the plant tissue that are surrounded by yellow to necrotic tissue are a commom symptom of stink bug feeding. Twisted leaves and stalks, tillering, stunting, and wilting are also common symptoms. Plant death may also occur when severe injury happens.

Brown stink bug adult.

Stink bug injury to corn.

Thresholds for stink bugs in corn have not been developed, so decisions to treat them are based solely on gut feelings. Insecticides recommended for stink bug control are listed in Table 1. Please follow all label instructions.

--Kelly Cook

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