mcakzk
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:06 am
Location: New Mexico

help with my corn please

Hi everyone...this is my first time garndening in New Mexico! Everything was doing great. My corn stalks are about seven feet high and had several ears growing. When I came back from a camping trip I noticed that many of the ears had been devoured. I also noticed tiny black ants all over the devoured husks. From what I have read this is not damage caused by the ants. I also have a few ears that had not been eaten. I picked one and pulled back the husks only to notice that there are holes in the husks and in the corn along with mold. Does anyone know what could be causing this?
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 4802_o.jpg

DoubleDogFarm
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Eric

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jal_ut
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Skunks and raccoons can decimate a corn patch in a hurry. Oh, might be crows too. That one in the picture could be insect or bird damage. Probably not the corn ear worm as they eat a bigger patch of kernels before jumping ship. Any grasshoppers around?

You need to look closely to see if you can discover some insect pest. Find any worms under the husks?

Ya, I am with you on the ants, I don't think they do that kind of damage, but may get in the act once some other critter has exposed the kernels or cob.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

mcakzk
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Location: New Mexico

I was told by a family member that it is probably corn worms. I have several ears that are completely eaten. I did not see any worms but will look again. As far as critters there are no raccoon or anything like that around but there are doves and grackles. Will let you know what I find out.

Dillbert
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corn worms usually enter along the silk path from the tops/tassle.

looks like something ate through the husk - western bean cutworm will do that

see
https://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/article.php?id=415

if it is/was worms you'll find the worm or its frass - otherwise looks like a bird / other non-worm chewing insect.

mcakzk
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:06 am
Location: New Mexico

I checked all the ears of corn and I see no worms at all. I did see one strange looking beetle. I bought some dusting powder...not sure if it will help. Most of the ears are gone. Maybe I should just put up a scarecrow! This is the first time Ive ever been able to get a good crop of corn growing, its sad that it is all being destroyed.

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jal_ut
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If it is skunks or raccoons, you can keep them out by putting a radio in the corn patch. They don't like the noise. They will usually pull the ear of corn to the ground, and break it off, where a bird is likely to just peck the husks on the top of the ear and leave it attached to the stalk.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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