On Thu, 19 Sep 1996 YankeePerm@aol.com wrote:
> I found that European corn borer was very easily controlled with mixed
> cropping. The major control was lady beetles. They were attracted to fava
> beans very early in the season as the fava beans are a natural trap crop for
> beetles. By planting fava beans early in spring near the intended planting
> site of corn, I attracted lady beetles which reproduced on favabeans and
> moved onto the corn at the correct time to consume the eggs of both stem and
> ear borers. The fava beans start to fade from summer heat that pushes the
> corn. By luck, at least in the places where I have done this, the eggs are
> laid on the corn just as the beetles are looking for an alternate food
> supply. This was not in isolation from other natural control methods, of
> The control was sufficient so that I never had a stalk break from stem borers
> using this system. Ear worms control was sufficient to guarantee 2 for 1
> replacement to farmers market customers. I did have one customer report once
> that she had found borer damage but because it was only at the tip where
> kernals are small anyway, she refused the 2 for 1 replacement. Naturally, she
> cut that part off and ate the ear along with the rest. I didn't need any
> laboratory to come up with this control. And fava beans and corn make an
> outstanding succotosh. (I freeze half-full containers of cooked favas in
> season and later add corn that is a day or two past perfect for eating off
> the cob. It gets mixed up in the pot during reheating.)
> Evidence that the lady beetles were the major factor in our control came in a
> year when a very hard late frost drastically reduced lady beetle populations.
> We had an increase in ear worms that year. Lots of times one can use a
> "pest", e.g. the aphids which didn't seem to affect fava yields much anyway.
> For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
> 1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
> consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and The Forest Ecosystem
> Food Network. P.O. Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478.
> "We don't have time to rush."