Integrated Crop Management News

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Expectations are that corn flea beetle populations may be very large this spring (see article on pages 55-56). This insect can physically damage seedling corn by chewing long lesions in the leaves. These feeding lesions run parallel to the leaf veins and they first appear as thin, silvery or white streaks. Heavily injured leaves turn brown and wilt. The insect also can transmit Stewart's wilt, also called Stewart's disease. This disease can be controlled on susceptible corn by controlling the corn flea beetle with an insecticide. Use the following thresholds: in field corn prior to stage V5, 50 percent of plants with severe feeding injury and 5 or more beetles per plant; in seed corn on susceptible inbreds, 10 percent of the plants with severe feeding injury and 2 or more beetles per plant.

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