No. 14 Article 3/July 9, 2010

Western Corn Rootworm Adults and Soybean Aphids Appear to Be Slow Starters This Season

Although a few reports of western corn rootworm adults continue to trickle into my office, the pest appears to be at low densities so far this season. Mike Ascher with Ascher Agronomics, Shannon, Illinois, reported on July 2 that he was finding low numbers of male and female western corn rootworm adults in Carroll County. How low were the numbers? Only 2 to 3 beetles were observed for every 100 plants. Some may argue that it's still early and densities will begin to pick up. However, I suspect that the very wet springs in recent years, along with the increasing use of Bt hybrids, may be setting this perennial insect pest on its heels a bit. We are scheduled to begin our root "digs" next week, and I look forward to sharing with readers how the pressure looks in our trials.

Soybean aphid reports continue to be exceedingly few. Captures in suction traps also suggest that densities are insignificant at this point in the season. I urge producers to continue scouting soybean fields, particularly for Japanese beetles, and to report any significant infestations of aphids they find. As we know, populations of soybean aphids can build very rapidly.--Mike Gray

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