In the Mediterranean area, the main corn borer species are Sesamia nonagrioides Lefebvre (Mediterranean corn borer) and Ostrinia nubilalis Hübner (European corn borer). In the overall context of integrated pest control, it is possible to reduce the effect of a pest without having a negative effect on the environment by varying the sowing date. Benefits are possible if the most susceptible stages of the crop no longer coincide with the peak of the pest. We used different cycles of selection (0, 6, 8, 10, and 12) of two populations (Purdue A and Purdue B) of maize selected for early flowering to get a more precise estimation of the relationship between maturity of plant tissues and corn borer damage. We found a relationship between the damage produced by corn borers and the number of days from flowering to infestation. We conclude that, after flowering, a later stage of plant development at the moment of the infestation by corn borers reduces the damage caused by the larvae. Based on our results, we recommend to plant as early as possible so the tissues would be as mature as possible at the moment of insect attack.
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Vol. 106 • No. 3