As you plan for another growing season you likely have a long checklist of things to consider. Proper and efficient control of corn rootworms should also be on that list. Even with control measures available to farmers, this pest is responsible for a billion dollars in crop damage each year.
NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider says a good place to start developing a rootworm strategy is to consider your level of risk.
- Did you plant the same CRW traits for consecutive years in the same fields?
- Did you notice large populations of CRW beetles?
- Did you observe root injury from CRW larvae?
- Are your fields planted to continuous corn?
If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, you are likely at an increased risk for corn rootworm damage.
“Bt traits are an invaluable tool for defending plants from corn rootworm,” says Hasheider. “But it’s important to take steps that preserve their effectiveness long-term and use management strategies that integrate multiple control options.”
The most successful management programs use a combination of traits, a soil-applied insecticide when appropriate and a thorough scouting program to identify issues before they become serious problems.
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