Tar spot & rootworms remain a concern for growers

A seed expert says corn tar spot and rootworms remain a concern for growers.

Alex Renk with Renk Seed tells Brownfield tar spot wasn’t expected to be an every-year problem, but so far, it has.  He says it takes special conditions for tar spot to develop, and he cannot recommend changing corn varieties to avoid it. “You’re just not going to get any varieties that are necessarily better or worse for tar spot. The breeding is not in there to kind of prevent that.”

Renk says some growers are coming off a year with more corn rootworms than they’ve seen before. “If they’re in there thick enough and they’re feeding, for them to get killed by the Smart Stax, which is a great technology, they still have to eat. They have to take a couple of bites and that will finish them off, but there’s so many that they’re just chewing the roots to nothing.”

Renk says corn growers that experienced a big rootworm problem last year should rotate the crops and put something else in that field this year.

Alex Renk discusses planting, tar spot, rootworms, and more with Brownfield’s Larry Lee 5/4/22

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