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Issue No. 5, Article 1/April 22, 2005

Insect Management Research Under Way

Corn is being planted fast and furiously throughout most of Illinois, the rapid planting rate being encouraged by the terrific weather. Almost 75% of the corn was in the ground in the West and West Southwest crop reporting district as of April 17, and other areas probably are approaching or are at 50% completion by now (Current Illinois Weather & Crop Report). Growers who have finished planting corn have turned their attention to soybeans--some growers already planting, and others contemplating planting. Unless the weather interrupts, this planting pace will continue.

We have been able to take advantage, too, by getting our corn insect research trials under way. From April 16 through April 19, we planted six experiments to compare insect-control products for their efficacy against Japanese beetle grubs, wireworms, or any other secondary insect pest that shows in the plot areas. Two plots were planted in Madison County, two in Champaign County, and two in southeastern Illinois (Hamilton and White counties). Now all we have to do is wait for the grubs (or whatever) to show. Although we hope the cooperating growers remain free from white grub and wireworm problems in 2005, we hope that our plots get smoked! We'd like to obtain efficacy data for seed-applied insecticides and selected granular and liquid insecticides.

As we traveled through southern Illinois on April 19, we noticed a fair number of fields that look "ripe for the picking" for black cutworms--plenty of weeds attractive to ovipositing females. Please refer to Kelly Cook's article, "First Intense Capture of Black Cutworm Moths," in this issue of the Bulletin.

Now we turn our attention to numerous experiments associated with management of corn rootworms. We hope to begin planting our experiments today (April 20), and the early planting will benefit some of our objectives. After these trials are in the ground, we'll turn our attention to a few other corn insect pests, as well as soybean insect research. We'll have a full summer, but hopefully the outcome of our efforts will be information that can be used by corn and soybean growers for the 2006 season (and beyond). As useful data become available, we'll share with you in future articles of the Bulletin.

Here's hoping we continue to have a great and productive growing season.--Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey

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