> We are growing a sweet corn variety called Tuxedo
> ordered from Fedco. It has a naturally tight husk
> which help deter the worms, supposedly they
> can't get in.
I am playing with a little tropical x temperate supersweet material I got
from Jim Brewbaker in Hawaii. It has husk cover out the kazoo. Corn from
the lowland tropics is naturally resistant to ear insects, but it is very
late under long days. Jim at the University of Hawaii has developed some
good sweetcorns, standard sugarys, and supersweets based on both brittle1
and shrunken2 genes.
> I have heard an application of mineral oil helps, but
> I am unclear as to how to apply. I believe its just a
> bit on the tassles.
No, you have to inject it into the silk channel. Maybe vegetable oil would
work too. I don't know how much, but you can get large-gauge hypodermic
needles from some feed stores, sometimes with a blunt point for feeding (or
cut off the point). Inject a small amount into the silk channel, maybe use a
> I had a goofy idea the other day, would be to time consuming
> to do the a whole field but a little plot might work. Goofy
> idea: It the tight husk is supposed to keep out the worms
> what if you applied a rubber band or some sort of tie around
> the tassle end would that keep them out?
Maybe your rubber band idea would work, if the husk is long enough and you
close it tight. Do it right when the silks just begin to turn brown.
> We have the Bt for corn and will probably use it, but I suppose
> a worm or two will still slither in.
Trouble is the little larvae hatch quickly and immediately crawl down the
silk channel where they escape anything you spray on. You have to get good
coverage and spray repeatedly. It is also possible to get some control by
putting out lots of Trichograma, but again, timing is crucial.
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