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Corn Rootworm Battle Begins Now

Corn Cutworm

No matter what part of the country you farm in, corn root worm is still one of the most destructive pests.  There’s northern and western versions and even Mexico has their own pest.  Jeff Miller with Cornell Cooperative Extension offers three tips on keeping them out of your crops. 

This insect feeds on corn silks and pollen during the growing season depositing its eggs in the soil below. The eggs hatch out the following season (about the time you see fire flies) and the larva start to feed on your corn roots significantly reducing yield and standability.

  • The best choice for control is to rotate to a different crop the following season, corn root worm will not feed on alfalfa or soybean roots.
  • Buy seed that has been treated with Poncho 1250 or Cruiser at a similar rate when corn root worm populations are moderate.
  • Plant corn seed with a genetic modification (bacillus thurengiensis) that is resistant to the pest. There are 4 different BT types specific for root worm control and you must rotate between these types if you plant corn after corn for several years.

Cornell’s website has more information on the corn root worm fight.  Or contact Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Ag Team at (315) 736-3394 or at Office hours are 8:30 to 4:40 Mon-Fri.

SOURCE:  Cornell Cooperative Extension – Jeff Miller

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