The corn rootworm egg hatch is underway in Iowa.
Iowa State University entomologist Erin Hodgson says this year’s hatch is only slightly ahead of normal, but about two weeks ahead of the 2011 growing season.
Hodgson says conditions are right for good larval establishment this year.
“Those that were able to survive—and we had a very mild winter, so most likely the eggs did survive—they probably are hatching just fine,” Hodgson says, “and if they happen to emerge when corn is already planted and germinated, they have plenty of root tissue to feed on.”
Hodgson says the early egg hatch could also mean earlier adult corn rootworm emergence—which has the potential to cause some pollination problems.
“If their emergence is synched with silking, you could have some of that interference with pollination because they are really attracted to those corn silks,” she says, “and so we should be watching for the adults this year—paying a little closer attention to that this year than we normally would.”
Hodgson says the southwest region of Iowa is experiencing 50 percent egg hatch now. She says other parts of the state will approach that 50 percent mark within seven to 14 days, depending on the temperature.