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Corn farmers warned of stalk borer infestations

An extension entomologist warns corn farmers stalk borers could cause problems if not managed properly early this growing season.

Erin Hodgson with Iowa State University says the occasional pest might be more prevalent given delays at planting.

“Because of the sort of strung-out planting period, and knowing that there’s going to be seed and seedling corn that’s emerging and growing for a little bit, the corn that is growing slowly is the most susceptible.”

She tells Brownfield stalk borers tend to re-infest the same fields and are usually along grassy edges.

“What we are seeing are a number of deadheads in bromegrass, so to me that’s the first visual cue that stalk borers are on the move.”

Hodgson says there’s a very short window for treatment because insecticides are only effective while larvae are migrating to corn.

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