Be on the Watch for Stink Bugs in Corn

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Corn planting has been challenging, but the crop is in the ground and we have it at a  wide range of growth stages. Most of the corn is anywhere from V5 to approaching VT (when the last branch of the tassel is completely visible and 2 to 3 days before silks emerge) within the next 10 days. Stink bugs have become a major concern for corn growers since 2015 in northeast North Carolina. The two major stages of growth that is a concern for corn growers is from V1 to V6 and V14 to VT. The span of time between these two periods is when the corn plant is not vulnerable to the feeding by stink bugs. When you are scouting just prior to VT., make certain that you are not in those last few vegetative (V) stages when the small, young ear is vulnerable to stink bugs.

The stink bug of concern in corn is the brown stink bug. Dr. Dominic has posted online ( the  new thresholds for corn as well as it is in my last newsletter.

The Expo team was planting a soybean variety trial on June 9th that was across the ditch from a field of corn (about chest tall). The ditch was grown up with broadleaf and grassy weeds and every few feet we found brown stink bugs. I say all this to emphasize the need for growers and other members of the ag community involved in corn production to be on the watch for stink bugs if you have corn in one of the two vulnerable periods of growth mentioned. If you have questions about stink bugs in corn, please contact the Pasquotank Extension Center or your local Extension Field Crops agent. Below is a link to descriptions of growth stages of corn courtesy of Kansas State University.

Image of a stink bug

Brown stink bug perched on grassy weeds in a ditch next to a corn field. Picture courtesy of Austin Brown, Extension Agent, Camden County.