No. 18 Article 4/July 25, 2008

Corn Rootworm Damage Trials Begin in Earnest

Our annual corn rootworm digs began last week at the University of Illinois Research and Demonstration Centers near Perry and Monmouth. This week our root evaluations have been focused on experiments located near Champaign-Urbana. In spite of concerns that delayed planting this spring due to water-soaked fields would lead to lack of corn rootworm injury in our trials, we are seeing respectable levels of pruning in our experiments.

Over the past two years, we have established corn rootworm trials at the Orr Research and Demonstration without much success due to inadequate corn rootworm pressure. However, this year we have moderate levels of pruning at this location in our check plots. Root pruning in check plots at our Urbana experiments is generally about 2 nodes of roots destroyed. Next week we intend to evaluate our corn rootworm efficacy trial at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near Shabbona. Last week, I evaluated roots from some of the treatments at this location and observed severe pruning in many of the check plots. Later this summer, we will share the preliminary root rating results from these trials with our readers. If you are experiencing severe corn rootworm damage this summer, please share your observations with us.

Soaking roots to remove excess soil before power washing.

Power-washing roots from corn rootworm experiment near Urbana.

Evaluating roots for injury: Dr. Joe Spencer, Center for Ecological Entomology, Illinois Natural History Survey.

--Mike Gray

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