Farmers start to switch gears, as planting comes to a close.
Producers will need to start monitoring crops for diseases, pests, among other items. They can manage a certain damaging pest during the growing season with the help of THE WATCH.
“Corn rootworm can cost U.S. farmers an estimated one-billion dollars every season,” according to Bayer. Jody Gander, Bayer’s market development manger for corn traits, says, “It can be a devastating insect.”
“Not a lot of rescue options are available once you have damage from corn rootworm. Growers have to be proactive when managing this pest,” Gander said.
Bayer Crop Science hopes to increase grower awareness of corn rootworm through a program called THE WATCH.
“The purpose of this program is to raise grower awareness, (offer) practices to help manage this pest and things they can do to be proactive and scout for it, to determine whether they need to employ some of those control strategies,” Gander said.
Corn rootworm eggs will soon hatch. Farmers should make plans to employ sticky traps in July, to monitor rootworm pressure.
THE WATCH provides growers with sticky traps, in an effort to help them monitor “one of the worst insect pests they face.”
“What we’re doing is trying to increase awareness with growers and provide them with sticky traps, a starter kit they can use to estimate what kind of rootworm pressure they might have in a given field,” Gander said. “Take the yellow sticky traps, hang them in your crop, and change those out weekly. At the end, count and get an average amount of beetles per day.”
More than two beetles per trap per day indicates a corn rootworm pressure in the next crop season, according to research from Iowa State University. Gardner would encourage producers to employ control measures at that point.