Our oldest corn has finished pollinating and is in the grain fill stage. We have some younger corn still working on putting out tassels.
So far this year’s crop is still looking strong. We keep getting rain at just the right times and disease has not been a serious issue.
Northern corn leaf blight isn’t progressing much and Southern rust still hasn’t been found in SC.
One thing we are seeing plenty of is stinkbugs. They seem to be widespread in about all fields of all ages. The warm weather this past winter may have allowed more stinkbugs than usual to overwinter.
Some fields are definitely at treatable population levels. Before silking, use the threshold of 25% (1/4) of plants infested with stinkbugs. After silking, switch to 50% (1/2) of ears infested.
Stinkbugs can damage young ears the most before silking, so that’s why the threshold is lower.
When scouting, try to cover the whole field instead of just the edge near the truck. The number of stinkbugs is usually higher along the edges of the field, especially near wooded areas, so only scouting those areas may be unrepresentative of whats going on across the whole field.
For information on insecticides labeled for stinkbug control on corn, check out page 73 of the 2016 SC Pest Management Handbook.
Keep your eye out out for disease while scouting, especially if you haven’t pulled the trigger on your protective fungicide yet.