Insect IPM in Organic Field Crops: Seedcorn Maggot

Author(s): Katelin Holm and Eileen Cullen

The seedcorn maggot, Delia platura, is a soil insect pest of corn, soybean, and vegetable crops. Small gran or legume green cover crop incorporation, weed cultivation, and animal manure organic matter can increase attractiveness of fields to adult seedcorn maggot flies at spring planting. However, conventional seedcorn maggot management methods of synthetic insecticide seed treatment and cover crop or weed herbicide burn-down are incompatible with organic agriculture. This publication addresses cultural control integrated pest management (IPM) strategies for seedcorn maggot in corn and soybean. Planting crops during the “fly-free” period betwen seedcorn maggot generations, when the insect population is entering its non-feeding pupal stage, can minimize seedcorn maggot damage. This fact sheet provides information on seedcorn maggot identification, life cycle, crop damage symptoms, and the use of insect degree days to forecast fly-free periods during the growing season.

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