Using Seed and Foliar Insecticides to Control Corn Flea Beetles and Stewart's Disease of Corn
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Stewart's disease of corn, caused by Pantoea (Erwinia) stewartii has significant economic implications for sweet and seed corn producers. These problems stem from phytosanitary regulations put in place by many countries to prevent the introduction of this pathogen into their countries. Growers or seed producers have to perform costly tests on seeds from fields where P. stewartii was found to occur in order to export the seed. Foliar insecticides have been used to reduce corn flea beetle populations during the growing season as a means to reduce the risk of Stewart's disease of corn. This management practice, however, has not been adequately tested in field trials. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using both seed (Gaucho, Gustafson, Inc., Dallas, TX; Cruiser (formerly Adage), Greensboro, NC) and foliar (Warrior, ZENECA Ag Products, Wilmington, DE) insecticides to reduce corn flea beetle populations and Stewart’s disease of corn and to quantify the impact of these management practices on yield.