Part 7 of our "Resistance Reality" story, featured in the Farm Journal 2012 Seed Guide. Click here to start reading from the beginning.
This summer, Monsanto is addressing resistance concerns by hosting corn-on-corn clinics for farmers in areas with heavy corn rootworm pressure. The clinics focus on agronomic factors associated with corn-on-corn production, such as residue management, seedbed preparation, soil fertility, weed control, disease pressure and insect pressure.
"Because every field is unique, we encourage growers to carefully evaluate the emergence scores, disease tolerance and insect protection component of each corn hybrid when making selections for corn-on-corn acres," says Ty Vaughn, Monsanto corn product management lead.
"If a farmer is experiencing challenges or heavy insect pressure, the best choice is to rotate to soybeans next season," Vaughn adds. "If that is not a choice farmers can or are willing to make given the economics, planting pyramided products, or using an insecticide on single-mode-of-action products are potential tools in heavily infested areas."
Scouting is an integral part of integrated pest management practices. Gray encourages farmers to scout sooner rather than later as corn rootworm showed up early this year, by nearly a month in Illinois.
He offers this recommendation for farmers who suspect they might have rootworm resistance on their farm: "Long-term, it will be increasingly important to integrate management practices such as rotating corn with other crops, rotating Bt traits from season to season, considering the use of a non-Bt hybrid along with a soil insecticide at planting, and not neglecting the use of a refuge if a Bt hybrid is planted."
In simple terms, stewardship matters—at all levels in the industry.