Corn rootworms have been detected in northwest Iowa and in parts of Illinois and a Missouri plant specialist says Missouri corn producers need to keep an eye out for it. Although there is no evidence of a problem in Missouri yet, there is concern because of the proximity of some counties in Illinois where grain producers there have found it. The problem is caused by continuous planting of Bt hybrid corn on croplands.
MU Extension plant specialist Wayne Bailey says less than 10 percent of corn fields in Missouri are at risk but growers must be vigilant. Look for evidence of rootworms in spring fields and treat with soil insecticides which can slow their growth. Producers who use Bt corn more than three years, he says, should consider an alternate hybrid.
Wayne Bailey and Bruce Hibbard, USDA ARS expert on rootworms, will be presenters at the MU Crop Management Conference, December 18th and 19th at the Holiday Inn and Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri.