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Assistance with European corn borer survey requested

by Bruce Potter

European corn borer
Entomologists at the University of Minnesota continue to document and understand changes in European corn borer (ECB) populations in our state. Each fall, a number of corn fields are surveyed for the presence of corn borer damage and overwintering corn borer larvae. During the growing season weekly updates of ECB moth captures in black light traps are made available: Funding from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council has provided us an opportunity to improve these efforts.

Since the widespread adoption of Bt traits in the 1990s, populations of this corn pest have been low. Recently, corn growers have increased the number of acres planted to hybrids without Bt traits (conventional corn) for ECB.

To ensure that survey results reflect the effects of these non-Bt acres, we need to include a percentage (at least one field/county) of these conventional corn acres in survey efforts for each county. We will also collect overwintering stage larvae from fields where ECB populations are large. These larvae will be reared to determine the prevalence parasites and/or the single generation strain of this insect.

We are looking for cooperating corn growers to help us improve the accuracy of survey efforts. If you would allow us to sample one of your conventional and Bt corn fields this fall, please contact us by July 10th and email Bruce Potter at with:
  • Your name:
    Phone number:
    County and Township:
We will select surveyed fields to provide the best geographic representation of populations. Growers will be advised if their field has a high population of borers but Individual field locations and farmer information will not otherwise be shared.

Thank you in advance for your support of corn pest management research in Minnesota.

Bruce Potter, Ken Ostlie & Bill Hutchison
MN Extension IPM Program, & Dept. of Entomology, UMN
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