Scout corn fields for western corn rootworms!

Image Photo by A. Zukoff

Western corn rootworms have started to emerge across SW Kansas! Many of the late planted fields across Kansas will be especially vulnerable to these early emerging adults. The rootworms are emerging prior to silking in many of these fields, so scouting now is recommended. The rootworm adults will start to feed on the green silks as soon as they appear and can quickly prune them back, interfering with pollination. With the drought and hot weather continuing in western Kansas, these corn plants will be able to tolerate less feeding damage than well hydrated corn. In drought stressed corn, a foliar insecticide spray may be considered if 5 or more beetles are found per plant and silks have been clipped back to 1/2 inch. Well hydrated, unstressed corn usually can take 10-15 beetles per plant before treatment is justified if pollen shed is still occurring. When treating corn fields for adults, keep in mind that some products may increase spider mite pressure later in the season.

For information and treatment options

http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/Mf810.pdf

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