On June 30, Jared Schroeder, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Crop Sciences, observed a western corn rootworm adult on corn in an experimental plot located in Champaign County. During the past week, we have received several reports from field scouts who have observed corn rootworm larvae feeding on corn roots. Although most western corn rootworms will remain in the larval stage for several more weeks (until mid-July), sightings of adults will become increasingly common after the Fourth of July celebration. Initially, corn rootworm adults will feed on corn leaf tissue. This type of feeding does not result in yield loss. During flowering of corn plants, western and northern corn rootworm adults will begin feeding on silk tissue and pollen. As we approach anthesis, we will provide management tips to prevent excessive silk clipping and potential yield loss. At this point, it still remains uncertain how large the western corn rootworm adult population will be this season. Let us know when you begin to observe adults in your area of the state.--Mike Gray
Corn leaf injury caused by western corn rootworm feeding.