I’ve received several reports of sugarcane beetle damaging corn fields across the state, as have some of my colleagues in neighboring states.
If you’re curious about how to diagnose the injury, I suggest this blog article.
Last year I had the chance to run two trials for this insect. We discovered that high rates of seed treatment were the most effective to control this insect. However, even at the 1250 rate, corn can still be injured.
One Mississippi trial last year indicated that bifenthrin in-furrow was more effective. I am currently testing this.
Unfortunately once you experience the injury from sugarcane beetle, the damage has been done. There is nothing that can undo the situation.
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However, to minimize your risk in the future, consider using a high rate of seed treatment.
This insect seems to be more of a problem in the Piedmont, but I am not sure if this is because it is associated more with no-till, the presence of pastures (where it can develop), or the fact that there are generally lower rates of seed treatments that are used in this part of the state compared to farther east.
The incidence of this pest also varies from year to year. Therefore it is very difficult to predict whether or not this pest will cause problems in the future.