Sweet Corn issues - Knowledgebase Question

Boyne Falls, Mi
Question by codykaty
July 13, 2010
For the last few years our corn has gotten these brownish colored worms and a black mold like substance. What's wrong with it?


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Answer from NGA
July 13, 2010

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Corn can be attacked by corn earworms and fall army worms. Both are brownish colored. Corn earworms vary greatly in color, from a light green or pink to brown with alternating light and dark stripes running lengthwise on the body. Fall army worm colors vary from light tan or green to black with a black stripe along each side. The head has a prominent "y" with a series of dark spots running along the back, and the last or next-to-last abdominal segment has four distinct black dots.

Control of these pests is easy if you hand pick them as soon as you see them. Or you can use Bonide Rotenone-Pyrethrins Concentrate or Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is sold under the names Dipel and Thuricide.

The black mold like substance is probably a result of the insect feeding. Once the corn is damaged it can develop a black fungus. Controlling the insects should control the development of bacterial soft rot or fungal diseases.

Good luck with your corn!

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