The majority of Red River Valley corn growers did not find any disease problems in their crop in 1999, a survey of the growers indicates.

A majority of the survey respondents did identify insect pests in their corn, but most did not use any insecticide in growing their crop.

Survey responses came from 127 growers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, who grew a total of over 65,000 acres of corn. North Dakota State University conducted the survey, with funding from the North Dakota Corn Growers and the North Dakota State Board of Agricultural Research and Education.

Survey results were cited by Denise McWilliams, agronomist with the University of Minnesota Extension Service and NDSU. She found that 64% of the farmers in the survey did not identify any disease problems in their fields in 1999. However, 26% saw some stalk rot, 16% found corn smut, 4% identified leaf diseases, 3% found ear or kernel rot and 1% each reported viral disease or other problems, such as root rot.

Insect pests were at least somewhat of a problem for 57% of the growers in the survey. Forty-four percent mentioned European corn borer, 15% saw wireworms, 7% identified rootworms, 6% found cutworms and 2% each cited grasshoppers, lesser cornstalk borers and grubs.

Even though there were some insect problems, 71% of the growers in the survey did not use any insecticide. The other 29% used some control, such as seed treatment (14%), granular insecticides (10%) or foliar sprays (10%). For applying pesticides, 70% used their own equipment, while the rest used custom application or a combination of custom and their own equipment.

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