Bug Scout 1980
Check Insects At Pollination
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
Do you suppose it's that "Essence of Apple Blossom" perfume?
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July 19, 1980

Insects can interfere with corn pollination.  Corn leaf aphids can stress the plant and reduce the amount of pollen shed.  Corn rootworm beetles and occasionally Japanese beetles feed on silks.

Silk feeding by insects can reduce kernel set and result in poorly filled ears.  When assessing the potential for insect damage to corn at pollination, consider the following.

-Corn silks that have been cut will continue to grow.
-Removal of silks that have been pollinated does not reduce kernel set.
-Physical factors, such as dry weather at pollination, can also reduce kernel set.

Most cornfields do not require insect control measures at pollination.  If insecticides are needed, remember to spray carefully.  Try to minimize damage to nontarget organisms like ladybird beetles and honeybees.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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