–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting
Most corn pests have come and gone throughout north central and south central Kansas, with a few exceptions. Japanese beetle adults have been causing concern in north eastern KS, from about Topeka to the Nebraska border and east to the Missouri border.
These beetles are attracted to green silks and can feed so voraciously that they eat into the husks and damage some of the kernels on the tip. These populations usually do not occur in such numbers to affect pollination over a large area of many fields. However, in small areas they can cause concern but are relatively well controlled if a foliar insecticide is justified. Some adult green June beetles are also feeding on corn silks and/or ‘naked ears’ and have been mistaken for Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles usually migrate to soybean fields to feed on pollen when fields start pollinating but probably not to the extent that they affect yield.