Evaluation of spatial and temporal patterns of insect damage and aflatoxin level in the pre-harvest corn fields to improve management tactics

Xinzhi Ni, Jeffrey P. Wilson, Michael D. Toews, G. David Buntin, R. Dewey Lee, Xin Li, Zhongren Lei, Kanglai He, Wenwei Xu, Xianchun Li, Alisa Huffaker, Eric A. Schmelz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Spatial and temporal patterns of insect damage in relation to aflatoxin contamination in a corn field with plants of uniform genetic background are not well understood. After previous examination of spatial patterns of insect damage and aflatoxin in pre-harvest corn fields, we further examined both spatial and temporal patterns of cob- and kernel-feeding insect damage, and aflatoxin level with two samplings at pre-harvest in 2008 and 2009. The feeding damage by each of the ear/kernel-feeding insects (i.e., corn earworm/fall armyworm damage on the silk/cob, and discoloration of corn kernels by stink bugs) and maize weevil population were assessed at each grid point with five ears. Sampling data showed a field edge effect in both insect damage and aflatoxin contamination in both years. Maize weevils tended toward an aggregated distribution more frequently than either corn earworm or stink bug damage in both years. The frequency of detecting aggregated distribution for aflatoxin level was less than any of the insect damage assessments. Stink bug damage and maize weevil number were more closely associated with aflatoxin level than was corn earworm damage. In addition, the indices of spatial-temporal association (χ) demonstrated that the number of maize weevils was associated between the first (4 weeks pre-harvest) and second (1 week pre-harvest) samplings in both years on all fields. In contrast, corn earworm damage between the first and second samplings from the field on the Belflower Farm, and aflatoxin level and corn earworm damage from the field on the Lang Farm were dissociated in 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-583
Number of pages12
JournalInsect Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Aflatoxin level
  • Corn earworm damage
  • Maize weevil population
  • SADIE analysis
  • Spatial pattern
  • Spatio-temporal association
  • Stink bug damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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