Wheat is drying down in much of the state and harvest has begun. This is the time that stink bugs will be moving from wheat into corn. While stink bugs are rarely a pest in wheat, corn fields adjacent to mature and harvested wheat are at risk. Immediately prior to tassle, corn is extremely susceptible to damage from stink bug feeding.
Scouting and Control
Producers should think about scouting their corn fields, especially the fields that are adjacent to wheat or other weeds. Some corn, primarily in the southern part of the state, is already at tassle. In some instances, a spray application at tassle may be too late to prevent damage from stink bugs. This means that pairing an insecticide application with a fungicide application at tassle might be too late to avoid yield loss from stink bugs.
The two most important factors for stink bug control are timing and coverage. It is less important what is sprayed, but rather getting the timing right before damage is done. Coverage is also crucial, as producers are using contact insecticides that need to get where the bugs are. Stink bugs can be found hiding near the stalk at the base of the leaves. So, for maximum effectiveness, the application needs to have the correct volume and pressure so it can penetrate the canopy. Pyrethroids should control stink bugs when coverage is adequate. See the Alabama Extension Corn IPM Guide for specific recommendations.