Aphids appearing in Iowa corn fields

Some Midwest farmers are finding aphids in corn fields.

Iowa State University Extension entomologist Erin Hodgson says reports of the pest started coming in a couple of weeks ago.

“We can have a couple different species infesting corn, and you can have multiple species infesting the same plant. They kind of like to hang out together. But usually they fade away before tasseling.”

If corn aphids persist, she tells Brownfield they should be treated when large colonies develop around the ear and upper leaves.

“Drought stress of course will make everything look a little bit worse, but these aphids produce a lot of honeydew that can coat those surfaces and promote a black sooty mold.”

That can negatively impact yields.

Hodgson says contact insecticides are effective on corn aphids but encourages farmers to use high volumes and high pressure because the insects are small and hide in small crevices and the underside of leaves. 

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