The Purdue Crop and Pest newsletter says rootworm hatch in Indiana is underway, and there’s no reason to think that there won’t be another battle with the pests this year. Tom Eickhoff, agronomic systems lead for Monsanto, says growers face the problem almost every year and should continue to monitor for the pests.
But will the long winter impact the timing of corn rootworm pressure?
“Being a tough winter like it was, it certainly may have an impact,” he told HAT. “But this pest has been around a long time and adapted to weather conditions. With the tough winter and maybe even some timely rains you can always impact the overall population, but the bottom line is that I think there’s always some out there and it pays to be in tune with what’s going on in your fields and really watching what’s happening and trying to prevent any losses that may occur.”
Eickhoff says there is a brand new tool this year for monitoring corn rootworm risk and assessing solutions. The Genuity Rootworm Manager is a free iPad app designed by Monsanto insect management technical development representatives, product managers and technical agronomists.
“It was really created with the idea in mind that let’s take this out to the field and use it real time. What the tool does is walk you through a series of questions about previous management within that field. Was it corn on corn? Is it corn following soybeans? What were some of the traits or insecticides that you may have used in the past and what’s the level of pressure you’re currently seeing in your field? It will provide you a risk rating for that field, so how did the previous management impact potential populations this year, as well as providing you some management decisions and recommendations on what you could do in-season and next year going forward to manage corn rootworm in that field.”
This app was and is the first app to provide users with valuable information related to rootworm risk and active pest management for the current season.
“After watching corn growers battle this damaging pest season after season, we saw a real need for this kind of app to assist farmers in making management decisions in real time,” Eickhoff said. “In addition to proven Genuity trait performance and in-field experts, this free app is another great resource for our farmers.”
The app allows the user to set alerts, take custom notes, and share information via email, and it’s available for any farmer, regardless of what product they planted.