“Clean Corn” for organic and no-spray sweet corn growers
Seaman, Abby; Hoffmann, Michael
Management of the three lepidopterous insect pests of sweet corn (European corn borer, corn earworm, and fall armyworm) is a challenge for organic growers, growers marketing “no spray” sweet corn, and those small-acreage growers who cannot justify the cost of the expensive, specialized spray equipment needed for sweet corn. European corn borer (ECB) is the primary pest of sweet corn, overwintering in our area, emerging in mid-May and, depending on the area and strains of moths present, may be flying and laying eggs all season. The corn earworm (CEW) and fall armyworm (FAW) are migrants that arrive in the area between mid-July and late August, depending on the season. All three insects cause damage to sweet corn by feeding in the ear, rendering it unsaleable in most markets. Often the customers of all three types of growers are willing to tolerate some level of damage and contamination from the worm pests, but in some seasons, infestation levels of European corn borer and/or corn earworm can approach 100%, which pushes the limits of even the most tolerant consumer. All three types of growers need pest management strategies that meet the expectations of their market, their certification program in the case of organic growers, or their equipment constraints.
New York State IPM Program
Agricultural IPM; Sweet Corn; Organic; Biocontrol; Vegetables