Several dynamics have contributed to the explosion of corn rootworm in the Midwest, says Joe Short, AMVAC Midwest marketing director.
One key driver is the dramatic increase of continuous corn acres. "Continuous corn will always have a higher population of corn rootworms."
Due to the increased pressure of corn rootworms, Short says, corn soil insecticide use increased dramatically in 2012 and is expected to continue expand in 2013. The largest increases were concentrated in Iowa, southern Minnesota, parts of Nebraska and northern Illinois, where continuous corn production systems are common and have increased in recent years.
"Much of the higher demand is on continuous corn," he says. "Growers are responding to larger, more difficult-to-control corn rootworm populations. Applying rootworm insecticides enhances control from rootworm hybrids, reduces lodging, improves harvest efficiency and boosts yield."
Short explains how farmers can combat the pest: