5 Tips to Protect Your Roots from CRW

Categories: GROWING, CORN
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Golden Harvest agronomists recommend that you stay on the lookout for increased corn rootworm pressure this summer. Many regions throughout the Corn Belt have experienced conditions ideal for corn rootworm egg hatch and development. 

If you have corn rootworm in your fields, you’ll most likely see damage occurring throughout the corn plants’ rapid growth stages and into the reproductive stages. Corn rootworm often leads to root injury, and
severe corn rootworm larval infestations can destroy complete root nodes, making plants vulnerable to lodging as well as lost yield potential. Golden Harvest agronomists’ general rule of thumb for when you should scout? If you can see fireflies at night, corn rootworm activity has likely already begun.

Although not much can be done to prevent damage at this point in the season, you can get ahead of the yield-damaging effects of corn rootworm next season by implementing a well-rounded management plan from start to finish:

  1. Scout early and often. Be sure to scout your fields season-long for signs of damage. Continuous corn acres and fields without Bt traits should be the priority, but be sure to scout fields early to understand what you’re up against. According to Iowa State University’s 0-3 rating scale, if your scouting shows a root injury rating of 1.0 (1 complete node destroyed) or higher, then rootworm damage might be taking a toll on your crops and you should consider next steps.
  2. If you see it, treat it. If you identify root feeding in fields, you could also encounter silk clipping from the adult corn rootworm beetles that emerge later on during pollination. If beetles are observed, evaluate their numbers and the potential for silk clipping, and consider applying a foliar insecticide to protect against further damage. If treated before egg-laying begins, this could also reduce the potential for problems next growing season.
  3. Rotate fields with a non-host crop. In corn-on-corn fields or fields that have experienced high corn rootworm pressure, you may want to rotate to a non-host crop such as soybeans. This provides the best opportunity to break the reproductive cycle of rootworms.
  4. Select the right hybrid/trait combination. In operations where crop rotation is not an option, consider planting a product that features multiple corn rootworm control traits in 2018. Golden Harvest offers a broad portfolio of hybrids that include trait stacks with multiple corn rootworm traits. For instance, Golden Harvest hybrids with Agrisure Duracade® 5222 E-Z Refuge trait stack offer premium, broad spectrum control with multiple modes of action on corn rootworm, plus the convenience and simplicity of an integrated, 5% in-bag refuge.
  5. Get ahead of next year's issue. Use a soil-applied insecticide in combination with hybrids that contain single or multiple CRW trait combinations as a precautionary measure in fields with prior year corn rootworm damage and crop rotation is not an option.

Contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

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