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Henderson County
IPM Sweet Corn Project

Introducing IPM techniques to producers is not easy. Many producers are skeptical, at best, about breaking away from traditional spray schedules-- and for good reason: One missed spray in sweet corn and their crop could be ruined.

Henderson County producers found that for the 2000 season IPM worked well on their farms. Corn insect monitoring using IPM techniques was performed throughout the county on 6 host farms. Producers and a scout each week collected trap count data for European corn borer and corn earworm and reported their numbers to the County Extension Office. These reports were summarized in a weekly newsletter sent to 75 producers. It included scouting tips and recommendations for other vegetable crops.

Producers who followed the recommended IPM monitoring and spray program had a successful reduction of 3 to 4 normal pesticide applications in early sweet corn plantings. That saved them $30 to $50 an acre in chemical cost or approximately $280 to $500 in savings in chemical and operating cost per farm. Also based on traps counts, late-planted sweet corn needed an additional 1 to 2 sprays that helped many producers maintain high quality.

man tasting sweet corn samples

The highlight of this project for many was a Sweet Corn Variety Taste Test held at the Henderson County Farmer's Market. Varieties from the IPM plots were featured. All spraying in the variety test plots was fulfilled using recommended IPM monitoring and target thresholds. The sweet corn variety trial allowed visitors to see firsthand the benefits of timing sprays according to pest populations.



For additional information on this project contact:

Thomas Brass
Henderson County Extension Agent for Horticulture
3341 Hwy 351 East
Henderson, KY 42420-9202

Kentucky IPM

Original document: 26 January 2001
Last updated: 26 January 2001

Scoutcat logo courtesy of C. Ware, copyright 2000

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