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1 October 2013 Effects of Japanese Beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and Silk Clipping in Field Corn
Sandy Steckel, S. D. Stewart, K. V. Tindall
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Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) is an emerging silk-feeding insect found in fields in the lower Corn Belt and Midsouthern United States. Studies were conducted in 2010 and 2011 to evaluate how silk clipping in corn affects pollination and yield parameters. Manually clipping silks once daily had modest effects on yield parameters. Sustained clipping by either manually clipping silks three times per day or by caging Japanese beetles onto ears affected total kernel weight if it occurred during early silking (R1 growth stage). Manually clipping silks three times per day for the first 5 d of silking affected the number of kernels per ear, total kernel weight, and the weight of individual kernels. Caged beetles fed on silks and, depending on the number of beetles caged per ear, reduced the number of kernels per ear. Caging eight beetles per ear significantly reduced total kernel weight compared with noninfested ears. Drought stress before anthesis appeared to magnify the impact of silk clipping by Japanese beetles. There was evidence of some compensation for reduced pollination by increasing the size of pollinated kernels within the ear. Our results showed that it requires sustained silk clipping during the first week of silking to have substantial impacts on pollination and yield parameters, at least under good growing conditions. Some states recommend treating for Japanese beetle when three Japanese beetles per ear are found, silks are clipped to <13 mm, and pollination is <50% complete, and that recommendation appears to be adequate.

© 2013 Entomological Society of America
Sandy Steckel, S. D. Stewart, and K. V. Tindall "Effects of Japanese Beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and Silk Clipping in Field Corn," Journal of Economic Entomology 106(5), 2048-2054, (1 October 2013).
Received: 22 January 2013; Accepted: 25 April 2013; Published: 1 October 2013

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Japanese beetle
Popillia japonica
silk clipping
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