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Drought contributed to increased corn rootworm pressure this season

A corn rootworm monitoring program conducted by Wyffels Hybrids showed increased pressure from the pest this season.

Agronomy Manager Ryan Gentle tells Brownfield there wasn’t much rain in early summer to drown out the larvae.

“We saw a pretty big increase in rootworm pressure, especially north of I-80 in Illinois into southern Wisconsin, Northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, with extended diapause of the northern green corn rootworms as well.”

He says while they have recorded similar pressure in years past, the effected footprint is expanding, especially further south in Illinois and yields could be impacted.

“We’re starting to see some resistance to the SmartStax trait, especially on fields that have been corn on corn, on corn for three or four years, and they’ve used nothing but the SmartStax trait.”

He says the new SmartStax Pro has multiple modes of action to help farmers combat the pest.

In 2023, the Wyffels Hybrids Corn Rootworm Monitoring Program tracked pressure through sticky traps at more than 1,000 different locations in Illinois, Iowa and southern Minnesota between July 4th and Labor Day.

Audio: Interview with Ryan Gentle during the 2023 Farm Progress Show

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