We've mentioned wireworms in a couple of previous issues of the Bulletin, and now we have received our first confirmed report of wireworms attacking planted corn seeds and young seedlings.|
Steve Ebelhar, Agronomist at the Dixon Springs Ag Center in Pope County, forwarded a nice photograph of a wireworm buried up to its "waist" in a corn seed. The photograph was taken by Kelly Robertson with Robertson Farms and McNeil Consulting in Benton, Illinois (Franklin County).
Wireworm larvae feeding on corn seed.
As most people know, wireworms cannot be controlled with "rescue" treatments. If wireworms are discovered damaging corn seeds and seedlings and reducing the plant population, the only consideration is whether the field or parts of the field need to be replanted. If a producer decides to replant because wireworms have caused significant stand loss, application of a soil insecticide during replanting is appropriate at this time of year. Refer to issue no. 1 (March 16, 2001) of the Bulletin to examine the list of insecticides suggested for control of wireworms in corn.
This is only the beginning of reports of subterranean insects that damage corn. We'll keep generating reports when we learn about infestations.--Kevin Steffey