Planning for Next Year
After following these recommendations, it’s important to begin thinking ahead about controlling corn rootworm for the next crop, which includes following programs that preserve corn rootworm control traits for the long term.
“The best thing growers can do to help eliminate rootworm pressure is to rotate to another crop, such as soybeans,” Pilcher states. “Corn rootworms love corn-on-corn, so anything growers can do to break that cycle is best.”
If there is no opportunity to rotate a field to another crop, consider a product with multiple modes of action in corn rootworm-resistant traits. Research has shown that integrated refuge, like Optimum AcreMax products, is best for insect resistance management of corn rootworms. If the same mode of action has been continually used to manage rootworm pressure, consider another trait or pyramid products to help break the cycle.
Another preseason management option, when planting continuous corn-on-corn in regions of extremely heavy rootworm pressure, is a soil-applied insecticide in combination with an Optimum AcreMax product, but Pioneer does not make this a standard recommendation.
“Corn rootworms are becoming more and more difficult to manage, so we as an industry need to be cognizant of the practices we use,” Pilcher reports. “If we want to use these practices and products long term, they need to be managed properly.”
If using a blended, in-bag refuge product is not an option for you then a structured refuge is required in combination with certain Bt-rootworm products. Practicing good stewardship like planting a refuge is vital in helping maintain a population of corn pests that are susceptible to resistance traits. In the long-term this will help preserve the viability of insect protection for in-plant traits.
When it comes to keeping insect control solutions for years to come, rotating products or crops are the best options. You can also work with your local Pioneer sales professional or DuPont Pioneer agronomist to develop a long-term plan that fits your acres.
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