Pest Management Studies of Early Season and Stalk-Boring Insects on Corn in Virginia

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Virginia Tech

Separate field studies were started in fall 2005, which continued through fall 2007, to investigate the effect of different levels of European corn borer tunneling on yield in corn grown for grain and to predict spring infestation levels of early season soil insects, specifically white grubs (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) in cornfields.

In the first study, model variables included corn growth stage and larvae per plant. In both years of this study, larvae per plant had a significant effect on grain yield. Grain yield was reduced by 13.1 and 3.65% in plants infested with four larvae per plant in 2006 and 2007, respectively. For 2006, linear regression models provided average percent yield loss per larva per plant at 4.1, 6.8, and 1.8% during late vegetative (V12), early silking (R1), and blister (R2) growth stages, respectively. Economic injury levels (EILs) were calculated based on average percent yield reductions across each growth stage and year.

In the second study, no significant differences were detected in both fall and spring between two sampling methods after correcting for differences in sampling volume. Strong correlations were observed between fall and spring grub densities in both years. In 2006, fields with grub densities above the spring nominal threshold had significantly greater stand and yield in the Poncho 1250 (1.25 mg clothianidin / kernel) treatment when compared to the Poncho 250 (0.25 mg clothianidin / kernel) and untreated plots. This information was used to develop fall EILs and economic thresholds for white grubs.

white grub, Zea mays, corn, wireworm, seed-applied insecticide, soil sampling, economic injury level, Ostrinia nubilalis, European corn borer