Over the past two seasons, farmers across the Corn Belt have participated in an online, early warning system tool to monitor above ground pests that could threaten their corn yields. For 2012, this sophisticated program, known as the Insect Forecast tool, has been enhanced to track another economically damaging pest – corn rootworm – as well as to offer farmers expanded online and mobile access.
Farmers can now log onto the site to learn when corn rootworm larvae are hatching in their area, allowing for better timing to scout their fields for potential root damage. The corn rootworm hatch varies by geography, but typically occurs from early- to mid-June in the Corn Belt and often coincides with the first appearance of lightening bugs.
Greater awareness about the annual corn rootworm hatch and migration patterns of corn earworm and western bean cutworm moths can help farmers minimize their impact. This tool can help farmers make strategic decisions about better timing for pesticide applications. It can also help farmers in choosing the right traited corn hybrids to meet their specific needs, such as those containing Monsanto’s Genuity corn traits which protect against insect damage and protect yields.
Farmers in the Corn Belt can sign up to receive e-mail alerts from May through September to learn when these insects pose a risk in their areas.