Because of the aberrant spring weather, some farmers will still be planting while others are walking fields looking for potential insect threats to their crops, diseases, weeds, and fungal issues. Stu Ellis can’t cover all those today, but he starts with an insect that will cut corn yields….
Every corn grower this year was hoping corn rootworms would hatch in saturated soil, drown, and not be an issue. 99% have all hatched at this point, and University of Illinois entomologist Nick Seiter says keep vigilant about potential problems
The biggest headline we’ve seen recently is the confirmation of resistance to CRY34/35 the Herculex trait. We’ve been losing some susceptibility to that for several years, so it wasn’t a surprise to hear that confirmed. What it means for farmers is they just have to understand what the susceptibility in their field is like and what they can do to prolong the usefulness of these traits. Assess the damage potential, assess the rootworm population that is out in your fields , and make a management decision accordingly. The ideal situation is to have these tools on fewer acres, but to have those acres where we really need them the most so we can lengthen their usefulness.
Seiter says scouting still includes traps and root samples
The other ways are to communicate. The seed dealers are actually doing some monitoring now. Communicate with them to get an idea what the pressure is. We’re working on some better ways to assess that population and assess that damage. We’re not there yet. Right now the best tool we have is still that yellow sticky card trap.
And Seiter says Herculex worked well in Illinois last year and rootworm numbers are low historically. That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.