15 Oct 2020
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Corn Rootworm Beetle and SmartStax® RIB Complete® Corn

Understanding Corn Rootworm

Corn Rootworm damage is an issue that can vary from year to year and county to county. Crop rotation, weather and rootworm traited corn can help manage populations, but are certainly not a “silver bullet” for complete control of this yield-robbing pest. I, along with others in the industry along the I-80 Corridor in Illinois, have experienced a big spike in root worm beetle counts this year, especially in continuous corn fields. Remember, one female can lay up to 700 eggs. If we get a late spring and early summer with average beetle stress, we could see some big-time yield losses. In the past few corn, harvest, management, seed cornyears, we have had wet springs with heavy rains when root worms are hatching, which can drown out some of the population. In turn, when we get rains throughout early to late summer, it helps root regeneration. The ear in the picture to the left was left on a sign overnight by a continuous corn plot in Princeton, Illinois. The next day it was loaded with root worm beetles. 

Managing Corn Rootworm

There is no doubt that we might experience high concentrations of root worm hot spots in the future, especially in continuous corn fields. These hot spots could easily spread to a larger footprint if conditions are right. Once we see the feeding and damaged roots in the field, it’s too late for rescue treatment and can lead to multiple losses in bushels and downed corn in the fall. Make sure your yield potential is maxed out with crop rotation, VT2 corn plus an insecticide or, my best advice is to plant a SmartStax® hybrid with two modes of action to protect roots from these pests. LG Seeds offers a strong lineup of high yielding SmartStax hybrids: LG47C77STX, LG51C48STX, LG57C33STX, LG60C47STX, LG62C02STX, LG62C35STX, LG5643STX, LG5650STX and LG67C45STX, just to name a few. We also have a wide range of SmartStax hybrids by maturity with strong agronomics, which provide top end yield and two modes of action to help protect those roots so we can harvest every bushel at harvest time!