Signs of insect feeding present at harvest

Signs of insect feeding are present in corn fields across the Midwest this fall.

Tim O’Brien is a traits product manager for Syngenta and says this is a good time for farmers to check ears and other parts of the plant to see how pest pressure affected the crop.

“Look at those ear tips and see if you can see some feeding damage (from the) Corn Ear Worm. You could also look for holes that might be drilled through the side of the husk, that’s indicative of an entry or exit point for Western Bean Cutworm.”

He tells Brownfield damage from insect feeding can lead to ear molds that result in mycotoxins.

“Which can be a concern if fed to livestock, or could result in dockage if you sell your grain at the elevator.”

O’Brien says effective pest management involves crop rotation, variety selection, and the use of insecticides. 

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