Corn ear worm

Rio_GrandeJuly 15, 2013

Despite attempts to keep this from happening we ended up with an infestation of ear worms this year. We eat the corn and just cut them out but I am venturing to say our Csa members won't be so eager. How do you handle issues like this? We are known for our sweet corn and this is the first time we had an issue since starting the Csa. I thought about asking who wants it and who doesn't, or sourcing from another farm. What do you do in these instances?

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Mark(Oregon, Zone 8)

Cut the top off each ear. It'll look fine.
I do this if necessary and see organic corn sold like this in the stores and at markets all the time.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:04AM
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Rio_Grande

Ok. Some of these buggers bored in the bottom of the ear, never seen that before!
It's some of the tastiest corn we have ever grown. I have started treating the second planting with spinosad. I've never used it before. Hoping it works.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 5:13AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I do a drop of oil on each ear. That isn't feasible for everyone though. If I miss doing it I cut the tips off after opening the husk and seeing where the worm is.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Rio_Grande

Sounds good. It wasn't as bad as I originally thought but it isint what we planned.
Spinosad is supposed to be superior to BT but we plan to dab the silks on the next cutting as soon as the tassels turn.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:29PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Spinosad kills bees whereas Bt does not. So I use Bt whenever possible. It does work on corn worms.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 3:22PM
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Rio_Grande

Ouch I was not aware of that

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 3:38PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I oiled the ears of the first corn bed last night. I used a little old insecticidal oil with mineral oil. Mineral oil is clear and you can't tell if you did an ear or not!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Rio_Grande

Looks like you wait until the silks start to turn. That's what we are doing as soon as the silks change color I have started treating them wit corn oil.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:49PM
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randy41_1

i think the entrust label says the exclusion period for bees is 3 hours. if you can spray it in the very early morning or late in the evening when most bees are home there shouldn't be many dead bees. bees don't work corn much anyway.
sweet corn doesn't make sense to me to grow since the yield in $'s is pretty low per ft. i think even beans is more $ per foot.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:54AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Yes I do use Spinosad, carefully, on non flowering crops when needed. I use it on potatoes and brassicas if needed. Just make sure to be careful with bees. So many less this year than normal. I have not seen a single potato beetle or cucumber beetle and the cabbage worms are much less than normal. I sprayed Bt on the brassicas once. I will only do Spinosad on them if the Bt doesn't cut it. But anything with caterpillars gets Bt first.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:15PM
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