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C.O.R.N. Newsletter 2014-33

September 23-September 30 Editor: Adam Shepard

In this issue:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs on the Move into Homes and Buildings

Stalk Rots Showing Up in Some Corn Fields

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs on the Move into Homes and Buildings

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs on the Move into Homes and Buildings

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Authors: Andy Michel

With the cooler night temperatures, shorter day lengths and maturing crops, there is not much left for brown marmorated stink bugs to do except get ready for winter.  The “marmies” prefer to spend the winter in homes or buildings, where they tend to be insulated from the cold temperatures.  They overwinter as adults, and then emerge the following spring and lay eggs.  Unfortunately, the marmies also overwinter in large numbers, which sometimes causes concerns from homeowners.  The marmies are not harmful to people nor cause any damage to buildings, but many do not like their presence and odor (especially when handled).  A simple way to remove the stink bugs is to just collect them in a plastic bag or jar and put them in the freezer for a day or so to kill them.  You can also vacuum them and toss them outside (do this quickly otherwise they may crawl out of the vacuum if not immediately killed).  We do not recommend insecticides in the home, mainly because more will continue coming in, and just their presence does not justify an application.  Like their name says, they do stink and can also leave a stain on skin or fabric, so be careful when handling.

Stalk Rots Showing Up in Some Corn Fields

Authors: Pierce Paul, Peter Thomison

As corn harvest beings across the state, reports of stalk rot are coming in from some locations. Several factors may contribute to stalk rot, including extreme weather conditions, insects and diseases. Although it is often difficult to distinguish between stalk rots caused by these different factors, mid- to late-season northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) may have been the culprit this year. NCLB reached fairly high levels in some fields, particularly in those planted with susceptible hybrids. In some cases, leaves above the ear were affected and became blighted well before grain-fill was complete. When this happens, plants often translocate sugars from the stalk to fill grain, causing them to become weak and predisposed to fungal infection. A number of fungal pathogens cause stalk rot, but the three most important in Ohio are Gibberella, Collectotrichum (anthracnose), and Fusarium. For more information on stalk rot in corn, consult the OSU Plant Pathology web site "Ohio Field Crop Diseases" ( for more details and pictures of the disease symptoms associated with these pathogens.

Losses due to stalk rot may vary from field to field and from one hybrid to another. Stalk rots may cause lodging, especially if the affected crop is not harvested promptly. However, it is not uncommon to walk corn fields where nearly every plant is upright yet nearly every plant is also showing stalk rot symptoms. Many hybrids have excellent rind strength, which contributes to plant standability even when the internal plant tissue has rotted or started to rot. However, strong rinds will not prevent lodging if harvest is delayed and the crop is subjected to weathering, e.g. strong winds and heavy rains.

A symptom common to all stalk rots is the deterioration of the inner stalk tissues so that one or more of the inner nodes can easily be compressed when squeezing the stalk between thumb and finger. It is possible by using this "squeeze test" to assess potential lodging if harvesting is not done promptly. The "push" test is another way to predict lodging. Push the stalks at the ear level, 6 to 8 inches from the vertical. If the stalk breaks between the ear and the lowest node, stalk rot is usually present. To minimize stalk rot damage, harvest promptly after physiological maturity. Harvest delays will increase the risk of stalk lodging and grain yield losses, and slow the harvest operation. 


C.O.R.N. is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio Crop Producers and Industry. C.O.R.N. is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, State Specialists at The Ohio State University and Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. C.O.R.N. Questions are directed to State Specialists, Extension Associates, and Agents associated with Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center at The Ohio State University.

Contributing to this issue:


Glen Arnold (Nutrient Management Field Specialist), Harold Watters, CPAg/CCA (Agronomy Field Specialist), Debbie Brown (Shelby), Rory Lewandowski (Wayne), Sam Custer (Darke), Les Ober (Geauga), Steve Culman, Steve Prochaska (Agronomy Field Specialist), Mark Badertscher (Hardin), Amanda Douridas (Champaign & Union), Nathan Douridas (FSR Farm Manager), Mary Griffith (Greene), Greg LaBarge (Agronomy Field Specialist), Mike Gastier (Huron), Ted Wiseman (Licking & Perry), Sarah Noggle (Paulding), Jason Hartschuh (Crawford), Eric Richer (Fulton), David Dugan (Adams, Brown, Highland), Mark Loux (Weed Science), Anne Dorrance (Plant Pathologist-Soybeans)


Andy Michel (Entomology), Pierce Paul (Plant Pathology), Peter Thomison (Corn Production)


Adam Shepard


Information presented above and where trade names are used, they are supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Ohio State University Extension is implied. Although every attempt is made to produce information that is complete, timely, and accurate, the pesticide user bears responsibility of consulting the pesticide label and adhering to those directions.

Ohio State University Extension embraces human diversity and is committed to ensuring that all research and related educational programs are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status. This statement is in accordance with United States Civil Rights Laws and the USDA.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Agricultural Administration; Associate Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Director, Ohio State University Extension and Gist Chair in Extension Education and Leadership.

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