Should You Tank Mix Herbicide / Nitrogen With Insecticide to Control Stink Bugs in Corn?

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Should you tank mix herbicides or nitrogen with insecticide to control stink bugs in corn? To be short and to the point, I couldn’t think of a greater waste of time and money. Before I lay out my logic to support this position, please visit this article detailing our new threshold recommendations for stink bugs in corn. This represents several years of now published work from an NC State University graduate student.

Stink bugs are very mobile and spotty in fields. Unfortunately tank mixing insecticide targeted for an herbicide or nitrogen application is like closing your eyes when aiming at a dart board. You might hit something and you might not. Odds are you won’t hit the bulls eye. Our newly published thresholds are based on years of replicated sampling of stink bugs in corn. They will allow you to measure twice and cut once.

Many have asked why our threshold stops at V6 and picks up at V14. The answer is based on corn physiology. Corn plants have the ability to place an ear at many different nodes, although they determine where the primary ear will be located during V5. Corn plants likely have the ability to replace the position of the primary ear during earlier vegetative stages. Also, stink bugs are spread across corn plants from V6 to V14, feeding at various nodes, not just the one destined to become the primary ear. One to two weeks prior to tasseling, stink bugs congregate on the node where the primary ear is forming. This leads us to believe that the corn plant is safe from stink bug injury until the primary ear begins to form and to push out of the stalk. Therefore, there is no need to treat corn for stink bugs from V6 to V14.