So your corn is planted and seems to be thriving, but there are a few hurdles that need to be still surpassed and one of the pressing issues being what is the best way to protect the corn form insects?
The three primary pests that threaten to destroy your crop are animals, insects and diseases. Make sure you examine your corn plants at regular intervals for danger of infestation. Corn earworms are also pests that you need to watch out for and they usually have an affinity for sweet corn that they attack consistently every year.
Moths deposit eggs on the leaves near the ear that grow into tiny caterpillars. The worms tend to feed on the tip of the ear. Nothing can be controlled once the worm enters the inside of the protective husk covering and the damage is inflicted. However there are certain measures that can be undertaken to protect your corn plants:
First, to keep the earworms from entering the trip of the husk, you can wrap a rubber band around the tip of the ear or attach a clothespin after the corn silk appears. This method will go a long way in minimizing the damage.
Secondly, you can protect your corn plants by spraying an insecticide called BT or Bacilulus Thuringiensis that contains a particular bacterium which will affect and attack only the larvae of the corn invader. This chemical spray will ensure all pest and insects are destroyed and killed. When using chemical sprays, make sure you consult the store you bought it from to ensure that you use the right amount as to not poison the crop and keep it safe for human consumption.
Other insect pests such as cutworms, stalk borers and stink bugs can reduce the corn stands as well even if a soil insecticide is used while planting, these insects can kill the seedling corn plants through the 4-6 leaf stage. Special scouting procedures are undertaken to determine when these insects might appear. The seed corn maggot can also destroy the corn plant and in order to protect the germinating seeds and seedlings from this pest, a seed treatment must be applied. Sampling of the soil for wire worms and white grubs must be administered supplemented with random digging of the soil with a shovel.
While planting corn seeds, a seed insecticide must be sprayed that will provide moderate protection against infestations of black cutworms, by undertaking all the necessary measures to protect your corn from the attack of any insects will result in more corn yields with less loss due to feeding damage by insects. Once the insects have infected the ear of the corn, the damage has been done and at that junction there is no reverse route. Your corn is destroyed and cannot be picked for eating purposes. This leads to loss and low corn yields thus spoiling the harvest for that year. A collaborative effort with innovative solutions to keep insects at bay will protect your corn not only form insects but allow it to thrive as well.