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Not Your Dad’s Corn Rootworm

Categories: GROWING, CORN

​​​​​​​Did corn rootworms feed on your fields this past season? Digging up several corn plants to double-check is always a good practice.

Unfortunately, corn rootworms have become tougher and tougher to control. Several decades ago, corn rootworms had a hatching period of about 4 to 5 days. In fact, corn rootworm beetles often emerged the same day as silking. But corn rootworms have proven to be one of the most adaptable insects. As farmers tried to minimize the insect pressure, corn rootworms continued to thrive, so much so that their hatching period continued to expand.

Today, area farms can face nearly 5 weeks of corn rootworm hatching, from mid-June through late July. Unlike some insects that can be managed mid-season with an insecticide, it’s better to err on the side of caution with corn rootworm – because once they’ve infested your fields for the season, they are difficult to control. Flooding can help in reducing corn rootworm populations for the summer, but won’t eliminate the problem.

Knowing your field history of corn rootworm pressure is a good indicator of how heavy populations will be in the year ahead. Whether you have low or high corn rootworm pressure, our management brochure can be a helpful guide. You can also set out sticky traps in several field locations to help with scouting. As you’re checking for damage, don’t just walk your fields – also dig a few corn plants out of the ground and look for signs of feeding.

If you’re considering planting traited hybrids to help manage corn rootworms, agronomists recommend selecting a “pyramid” hybrid for heavy corn rootworm pressure – that is, a hybrid with multiple traits stacked together. Agrisure Duracade® 5222 E-Z Refuge® is one such hybrid. Along with multiple modes of action against corn rootworm, it also features the Agrisure Viptera® trait to control 16 yield-limiting, above-ground pests. 

If you’d like to learn more, visit a local Agronomy in Action site or contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor. 

Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.

Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.

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