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Seedcorn maggot

Seedcorn maggot (Delia platura) larvae feed on germinating seeds or seedlings of corn and soybean. Feeding can delay development or kill the plant. Plant injury is especially prevalent during cool and wet springs when plants are growing slowly. Scouting for seedcorn maggot can be easily combined with early season stand assessments or scouting for other early-season pests. No rescue treatments are available, so understanding risk factors and tracking development are essential to minimize risk of infestation.

seedcorn maggot larvae on a corn seed (left) and soybean cotyledon (right)
Left: seedcorn maggot larvae eating a corn seed. Photo by Jim Kalisch. Right: seedcorn maggot larvae on a soybean cotyledon. Photo by University of Minnesota Extension.

An encyclopedia article details seedcorn maggot identification, biology, plant injury, scouting, and management. This includes how to track growing degree days and risk factors to prioritize scouting.

Seedcorn maggot encyclopedia article

The Iowa Environmental Mesonet hosts a Pest Forecasting page where growing degree days for seedcorn maggot development may be tracked. 

Track seedcorn maggot development

Annually, spring scouting alerts for Iowa are posted on the Integrated Crop Management News page. Throughout the growing season, additional updates on seedcorn maggot activity may be posted on ICM News or on the Integrated Crop Management Blog page.

If you would like to receive timely alerts of seedcorn maggot activity in Iowa via text messaging, sign up for the Iowa Pest Alert Network!