Symptoms in Corn
R.L. (Bob) Nielsen, Purdue Extension Agronomist
White-tailed deer are common throughout Indiana and
are often seen
feeding along edges of corn fields throughout the summer months,
especially when the grain on the developing ears is near the R3
kernel development (milk stage or the so-called "roasting
Deer feeding damage to developing ears at this stage results in
distinctive "chomped" appearance to the mature ears later
in the season.
One of the possible consequences of deer damage to young ears is
subsequent infection of the damaged cob and kernel tissue by the
fungus, Ustilago maydis.
Click image to enlarge
"Chomped" ear with ear smut growth