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Corn rootworm can cause severe damage to corn as both larvae and adults. Photo courtesy of Syngenta
Downers Grove, IL - With the 2021 growing season officially underway, the Golden Harvest agronomy team is offering farmers recommendations on how to navigate key challenges in the upcoming season, utilizing data from trials at several research locations across the Midwest. Corn and soybean farmers must proactively protect their crops from insects, diseases and weeds to maximize yield potential and increase potential return on investment, making decisions on hybrid selection, chemical applications and crop management techniques critical to success in the field.

Here are the team's top three tips for corn and soybean farmers this season:

1. Create a robust, multiyear corn rootworm management plan, and be prepared to make adjustments.

To avoid severe crop damage and yield loss from corn rootworm, farmers must proactively fight the pest using multiple tactics.

"The bottom line is there isn't one easy answer to managing corn rootworm," said Mitch Montgomery, agronomist for Golden Harvest in west central Iowa. "Building an effective corn rootworm management plan takes effort."

To protect against corn rootworm this season and beyond, Montgomery recommends farmers start by analyzing and understanding their field history. In addition to utilizing trait packages such as Agrisure Duracade 5222 E-Z Refuge, which combines the Agrisure Duracade and Agrisure Viptera traits to protect against 16 above- and below-ground pests, farmers should also think ahead to future seasons and plan to expose corn rootworm to something different by creating a multiyear, field-by-field plan. An effective plan deploys different management options in different seasons including crop rotation, the use of soil-applied insecticides such as Force 6.5G or Force Evo, rotation of trait stacks and use of a foliar insecticide such as Warrior II with Zeon Technology for adult beetle control when needed. The "Take Control of Corn Rootworm" decision guide can help farmers build an effective management plan.

Montgomery also emphasized that farmers must be prepared to adapt their plan as the season progresses and insect pressures change.

"A 'set it and forget it' strategy will not work with corn rootworm," Montgomery said. "Farmers must remain vigilant throughout the season."

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