P&PDL Picture of the Week for
July 6, 2009

Deer Damage to Young Corn

RL (Bob) Nielsen, Extension Corn Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are one of the few mammals that can cause significant damage to corn in Indiana. The sight of deer grazing in harvested fields for dropped ears of corn is quite common in the fall, but these animals are also attracted to corn fields at about the time kernels reach the milk stage <http://www.ppdl.purdue.edu/PPDL/weeklypics/1-10-05.html> or "roasting ear" stage of development (typically mid-August). Even earlier damage occurs when deer feed on the whorls or tops of the plants when the plants are only about waist high. In addition to the decapitated appearance to the whorls of the plants, there are often tell-tale signs of uneaten leaves lying on the ground.

 

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Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service