Rootworm problems go farther north

An agronomist says more farmers are dealing with the problems caused by corn rootworms this year.

Samantha Brantner with Bayer tells Brownfield corn rootworm infestations are being found in areas that didn’t have problems in the past. “We’ve got, you know, rootworm beetle traps across even northern Wisconsin and finding fields even north of Green Bay that are at the threshold and seeing some economic loss from corn rootworm itself.”

Brantner says this growing season has had noticeable damage from rootworms. “We’re seeing corn rootworm damage on the roots but as of this point, we’re not seeing the lodging that we’ve maybe seen in the past. Now, that could potentially be because we haven’t had any severe windstorms hit us at the right time, but they’re definitely out there and they’re taking off our top-end yields.”

Brantner says Bayer and Dekalb plan to release a new rootworm-fighting trait for 2024 that is doing well in field trials this year called VT4Pro.

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