Brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), damage on developing corn, Zea mays L., ears was examined in 2005 and 2006 by using eight parameters related to its yield and kernel quality. Stink bug infestations were initiated when the corn plants were at tasseling (VT), mid-silking (R1), and blister (R2) stages by using zero, three, and six in 2005 or zero, one, two, and four bugs per ear in 2006, and maintained for 9 d. The percentage of discolored kernels was affected by stink bug number in both years, but not always affected by plant growth stage. The growth stage effect on the percentage of discolored kernels was significant in 2006, but not in 2005. The percentage of aborted kernels was affected by both stink bug number and plant growth stage in 2005 but not in 2006. Kernel weight was significantly reduced when three E. servus adults were confined on a corn ear at stage VT or R1 for 9 d in 2005, whereas one or two adults per ear resulted in no kernel weight loss, but four E. servus adults did cause significant kernel weight loss at stage VT in 2006. Stink bug feeding injury at stage R2 did not affect kernel damage, ear weight or grain weight in either year. The infestation duration (9 or 18 d) was positively correlated to the percentage of discolored kernels but did not affect kernel or ear weight. Based on the regression equations between the kernel weight and stink bug number, the gain threshold or economic injury level should be 0.5 bugs per ear for 9 d at stage VT and less for stage R1. This information will be useful in developing management guidelines for stink bugs in field corn during ear formation and early grain filling stages.
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Vol. 103 • No. 6