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Western Corn Rootworm Research Trials

When farmers want to know how well an insecticide works they turn to their Land Grant University for unbiased information. Todd Gleason has more from the western corn rootworm trials on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

This little four-row planter is outfitted with some pretty high tech stuff. All of which must be calibrated before it goes to the field where it will be used to plant a western corn rootworm trial. A trial that will assess how well twelve different current in-furrow liquid and granular insecticides work. Well, at least some of them are current products, others are experimentals says University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter, “We like to evaluate all the different options that are out there. There is always potential that we could lose control tactics that we are using currently.”

So, researchers at Illinois want to make sure to evaluate everything available just in case something becomes ineffective. This we there are good answers on what to try next. It is important evaluate efficacy for today’s products and those in the pipeline. Illinois has long done research to test how well different control methods work on the western corn rootworm. Naturally, these include the Bt corn hybrids, too. As for the insect, it is really nimble and quite capable of adapting to all sorts of ways farmers use to control it, says Seiter, “It is an insect that is very good at developing resistance to multiple different control tactics. Out of all the insects we deal with it is the one growers are most interest in in terms of efficacy. In terms of what products, what hybrids, what control tactics are going to give them the best control.”

On that account, Nick Seiter from ILLINOIS, and his counterparts at Land Grants across the nation are working hard to stay up with the ever-changing western corn rootworm and the products used to control it.

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