Several important disease, insect, and weed problems can affect profitability of field corn production in New York. The most important pests are seed corn maggots, cutworms, armyworm, European corn borer, western and northern corn rootworms, ear molds, foliage and stalk diseases, and weeds. Some additional pests may occasionally cause economic losses. Integrated pest management (IPM) methods can be used to help minimize or avoid pest damage.
Many species of birds are a pest problem annually for corn growers in areas in New York State. Birds can greatly reduce corn plant populations in fields, and many farmers indicate they do not achieve high yields in fields with high bird pressure. A biological seed treatment, called Avipel Shield, is marketed to repel birds from feeding on newly planted corn seed and seedlings. NYS IPM and CCE collaborators around the state conducted 3 years of research to determine the efficacy of this product for deterring birds from feeding on newly planted corn fields. The results may be found in a fact sheet from NYS IPM and CCE.
See the tables below for suggestions on IPM activities and common pests by crop growth stage and seasonal occurrence.
- Field evaluation of anthraquinone treatment to reduce corn seedling damage by birds
- IPM for Insect Pests of Field Corn - a free course from the NYS IPM Program (YouTube) OR to receive 1 NYS DEC Pesticide Credit, take the online PMEP course
- BioControl Bytes - a monthly blog from the New York State IPM Program's BioControl Specialist
- NYS IPM videos on YouTube
- Field Corn Scouting Procedures, NYS IPM (PDF)