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Issue No. 10, Article 1/June 2, 2006

Corn Rootworm Larval Hatch Confirmed

The annual hatch of corn rootworm larvae has been confirmed. On May 29, Jim Donnelly with Ag View FS found corn rootworm larvae 3/32 inch long in a field of corn following corn (V4 leaf stage) near Walnut, Illinois, in northern Bureau County. Jim found the corn rootworm larva tunneled into root tissue in only one of 10 plants that he examined. This suggests that hatch was just beginning across northern Illinois. With the very hot conditions that developed during the Memorial Day weekend, corn rootworm larvae are very likely hatching across a large cross-section of the state.

Corn rootworm larva, May 29, 2006 (courtesy of Jim Donnelly, Ag View FS).

We anticipate very good to excellent survival of corn rootworm larvae during hatch. Recall that the primary weak link in a corn rootworm's life cycle is the occurrence of saturated soils during hatch. This description does not characterize the vast majority of corn acres this spring. In addition, abundant corn root tissue due to early or timely corn planting this year should provide an ample food supply for hungry corn rootworm larvae. Bottom lineexpect a bumper crop of corn rootworms this year. We look forward to receiving reports this season regarding the effectiveness of your chosen control tactic.--Mike Gray and Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey
Mike Gray

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