Bayer specialist discusses corn rootworm management

Corn rootworm is becoming more prevalent in some parts of the Corn Belt this year.

Edwin Benkert is a seed and trait specialist with Bayer Crop Science. “We’ve heard reports of heavier pressure in some areas, especially in Iowa,” he said. “We have heard reports of some feeding in first-year corn. We can’t 100% verify whether that’s the Northern Corn Rootworm or if it’s the Western Corn Rootworm.”

According to Bayer, corn rootworm costs farmers more than $1 billion annually in crop damage and increased control costs.

He tells Brownfield crop rotation is the most effective management strategy. “But if that’s not an option, we want to look at using a traited product, especially if we are using a non-traited product.”

Benkert says it’s critical for producers to stay ahead of the pest by scouting and planning.

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