Brown stink bug feeding above the crown of seedling corn. This will result in leaf holes, but probably not stunting, tillering, or plant death.
Brown stink bug feeding above the crown of seedling corn. This will result in leaf holes, but probably not stunting, tillering, or plant death.

Stink bugs are a nuisance pest that has been made worse on the East Coast this year thanks to a mild winter. Insect pressure is already being reported as heavy this year, with seedlings receiving the brunt of the injury being reported. It is believed that adults overwintered and survived in soybean stubble, woods or weeds. Corn that is V2-V8 will be susceptible to stink bug injury.  The earlier the stink bug hits the plant, the more severe yield loss will be during these stages.

With the stage set for stink bugs to be a real problem this year, , Ph.D., Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University, recently wrote an article providing tips on preventing a disaster from happening with this pest.

"We really need to watch (scout) corn once it is waist high until it tassels," Reisig said. "This is the stage where stink bugs can cause a disaster by feeding on the ear as it develops. Once corn tassels, the ear is already pushing out and most of the injury has already occurred. It may be tempting to tank mix and insecticide with a fungicide. You need to decide whether you want to target the spray optimally for the fungicide or the insecticide, since these two timings don’t overlap. A threshold population of stink bugs before tasseling justifies the cost of the trip over your field."

To read more of his article and see his data, click here.