Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

By: Steve Heckler

This is a Western Corn Rootworm Beetle that was found in a corn field recently in Mercer County. The field was planted in a corn on corn rotation. The corn Hybrid had above ground protection but not below. We were scouting corn fields for fungicide treatments and insects when we found these beetles. The Corn Rootworm beetle poses a double threat when we have heavy infestations: The adult snips corn silks and if unchecked, could prevent unsuccessful pollination and kernel development. The larvae feed on roots, which leads to risk for disease and plant stress. Some plants in this particular field were falling over from poor root structure and some of the silks were clipped. The yield loss in this field might be 20 bushel or more depending on the feeding that took place. In southern Darke county they found Corn Rootworm feeding on corn-bean rotation fields. If you have not done any root digs for a few years I urge you to look at some of your fields and dig some roots. As we are starting to plan for next year already, we might want to think about more traits that protect us from damaging insects. Back in the 1980’s I remember when corn rootworm larvae feeding caused severe damage to the corn crop in this area. In most situations it is more economical to protect your corn crop with traits than to treat the problem in season. Ask your Mercer Landmark Agronomist to help you with scouting your fields to determine what is best for your operation.

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