With temperatures well above 100 degrees, corn growers are asked to watch for pests in their fields. Washington State University’s Tim Waters said compared to other vegetable crops, corn can handle the heat better, water levels will need to be monitored closely. But he said area fields are starting to see an increase in pests specifically the corn ear worm.
“And they are particularly damaging from the time that the plant silks or the ears silk, until harvest. So, the female will lay eggs on the silk, and the larvae will feed down into the ears which is obviously an economic problem.”
Waters said they’ve already seen elevated corn ear worm numbers across the Columbia Basin, and they are starting to see an increase in spider mites numbers as well. While Waters encourages growers to spray for these pests.
“For all of the vegetable crops we deal with, when it gets hot and dry like this, we want to avoid synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, because their broad spectrum because their broad spectrum activity they tend to kill off some of the natural enemies and that can foment numbers of two spotted spider mites.”
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