Corn Rootworm Management Options Using Soil Insecticides

Although Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) traits in corn have increased the convenience of insect control for growers, there are an increasing number of reports of corn rootworm (CRW) trait performance failures. More and more growers are looking at new and different solutions to control corn rootworms and other secondary pests.

This subject was the theme of CropLife Media Group’s latest webinar, “Maximizing CRW Hybrid Yields Using Corn Soil Insecticides,” presented by AMVAC Chemical Corp.’s Joe Short, Midwest region marketing manager, and Rich Porter, Midwest region product development manager.

A Changing Landscape

According to several university studies, as well as field reports from growers themselves, corn rootworm, a pest normally managed by seeds containing CRW tolerant traits, is again rearing its ugly head in high pressure, corn-on-corn fields throughout the Midwest.

Historically, Bt traits and seed treatments have made insect control more efficient and convenient for growers, but studies indicate trait performance failures are on the increase.

Most notably, researchers at Iowa State University recently confirmed the finding of resistance to the Cry3Bb1 protein in Western corn rootworm. In addition, reports in both Illinois and Nebraska have identified fields with greater than expected rootworm damage in corn with the Cry3Bb1 protein.

According to AMVAC, beginning in 2007, Illinois growers utilizing one of the many AMVAC insecticides in a SmartBox setup for refuge management began noticing advantages at harvest time when combining insecticide with a rootworm trait hybrid vs. simply using an untreated hybrid. This finding led to formal research at the university level to address the query: “Does an insecticide optimize yield of a rootworm trait hybrid?” Thus far the results have been encouraging, to say the least.

“Corn soil insecticides are still a very vital tool for corn production today and economic returns in the industry,” explained Short during the webinar.
Short went on to cite two main drivers that have likely increased growers interest in soil insecticides, among them the overall desire to maximize yield and return on every acre planted, as well as the aforementioned issues raised around controlling corn rootworm with traits and seed treatments alone.

“The price of the commodity, as well as the cost of production, has increased dramatically in the past couple years,” said Short. “Naturally, every grower wants to maximize yield on every acre they plant.”

A summary of eight university trials based in Illinois and Iowa from 2007-11 showed that the rootworm trait treated corn alone carried a Node Injury Rating of 0.84. When combining the trait along with one of the many AMVAC insecticides at either full or reduced (3/4 label) rates, that number plummeted to a 0.11 rating.

For comparison’s sake, AMVAC cited a 0.25 node injury rate or less as “desirable to optimize both standability and yields.”

“Yields are by far the number one thing we’re trying to optimize,” said Porter. “But (corn) standability is a huge benefit to the grower, and that’s something we see improve when using insecticides with a trait.”

In the same trial summary, the rootworm trait/insecticide combo showed 86% of roots with less than a 0.25 Node Injury Rating, while corn treated with the trait alone had only 20% of roots with an injury rating below the 0.25 threshold.

“That’s a huge benefit when you have roots or plants at risk,” said Porter. “Those corn plants need that extra protection.”

Benefits Of Combining Insecticides, Traits

Porter also presented six benefits of mixing AMVAC granular insecticides with rootworm trait hybrids, among them:

  • Risk management tool.
  • Improves consistency of control.
  • IRM and IPM – multiple modes of action.
  • Improves harvest efficiency.
  • Nematode control with Counter 20G.
  • Maximizes yield potential of seed at planting.

“This method improves the consistency of performance, and every plant on the acre counts,” said Porter. “Every root system counts when you’re trying to maximize yields.”

Having demonstrated the need for corn soil insecticides, AMVAC offers four products for growers depending on their individual needs.

  • Aztec 4.67G and 2.1G, an insecticide for rootworm control that has demonstrated “consistent broadspectrum control of rootworm and secondary pests.”
  • Counter 20G, the company’s only soil insecticide labeled for nematode control.
  • SmartChoice 5G, which gives growers “flexibility on row spacings used – as low as 15-inch rows and twin rows.”
  • Force 3G (Syngenta), which provides control of rootworm and secondary pests.

As for product handling needs, the company offers two options:

  • The SmartBox System — a patented closed handling and application system that offers accurate product dispensing along with row size and planter flexibility.
  • The Lock’n Load System — another patented closed handling system intended for planters with insecticide hoppers.

Both systems feature returnable containers and reduce user handling and exposure to the insecticide, keeping workers and the environment safe.

“We want to steward this properly,” said Short. “Close handling systems like the SmartBox system are a key element in product stewardship.”

Leave a Reply

Insecticides Stories
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
InsecticidesEPA Grants Besiege Insecticide Additional Approvals
June 18, 2014
EPA has granted additional registration approvals for the use of Syngenta's Besiege insecticide on sorghum, cereal grains and peanuts. Read More
InsecticidesPrevathon Insect Control Approved For Cereal Crops
January 13, 2014
DuPont's Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received U.S. EPA registration for use on cereal crops, including wheat, most other small grains and sorghum. Read More
InsecticidesInsecticides 2014: Insect Pressure, Solutions On The Rise
January 2, 2014
Bt resistance, weather concerns and myriad other issues have led to an increase in both traditional pest pressures as well as new pests. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
Crop InputsNovozymes Sales Figures Up For 2014
January 20, 2015
Novozymes announces its sales growth in 2014 was in line with expectations as sales grew by 7% compared with 2013. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Ali…
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
Eric SfiligojGMO Or DNA? LOL Or WTF?
January 19, 2015
A new survey finds the American public seems generally confused when it comes to any three-letter descriptor for their food. Read More
FertilizerAGROTAIN Wins No-Till Product Of The Year Again
January 19, 2015
This marks the 10th straight year AGROTAIN nitrogen stabilizer has been named the top product in this category; no other product has matched this honor Read More
FertilizerTFI President To Give Update On Nutrient Management Eff…
January 19, 2015
The Fertilizer Institute President Chris Jahn will give the keynote address at the 2015 Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference February 4. Read More