Managing Corn Rootworm and a New Control Option for New York Farmers

Joshua Putman, Field Crops and Forage Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

November 12, 2020
Managing Corn Rootworm and a New Control Option for New York Farmers

Across the U.S. and within NY, corn rootworm (CRW) is developing resistance to the Bt-Rootworm traits in our corn hybrids, causing increased root damage and decreasing yields.  Yield losses from CRW root feeding can surpass 10% without any above ground symptoms, making this type of loss difficult to detect. Dr. Elson Shields, Field Crops Entomologist with Cornell University, has been working with a biocontrol nematode to combat alfalfa snout beetle in Northern NY and most recently, to battle CRW in the state. "New York research data indicates a single soil inoculation establishes these NY adapted biocontrol nematodes in the soil profile for many years, where they attack a wide range of pest soil insects across a wide variety of crops. During the corn years, these biocontrol nematodes attack rootworm larvae and during the alfalfa years, attack wireworms, white grubs, clover root curculio feeding on the alfalfa and grass in the field" says Shields. With 2020 harvest coming to an end, did you notice any fields of lodged corn? Contact Josh Putman if interested in learning more about this yield-robbing pest.




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