It definitely helps to get an idea of what corn rootworm pressure will be before next season’s corn planting. Here are a few tips and techniques to use when scouting soybeans for corn rootworm.
Know the enemy
Scout for adult western corn rootworm (WCR) starting in June or July through the first week of September to help identify fields where WCR may attack corn in the same field next spring.
If you scout this year, you will have time to develop a WCR management strategy for next spring.
Scout your soybean fields in the morning or late afternoon, when WCR adults are most active, using either sweep nets or sticky traps.
With yellow sticky traps
Methodical use of sticky traps gives you a major advantage when determining if you need a management plan for WCR pressure next season. Watch this #TraitAnswers video for sticky trap tips and techniques.
Learn the technique
With a 15-inch diameter sweep net, take twenty continuous sweeps in five different areas of your field. Keep the net closed between the five areas. Sweep the net from left to right with the top of the net slightly above the top of the foliage. Then reverse the net and sweep through the foliage in the opposite direction.
It’s smart to vary your sweeps by differences in topography. For example: high ground, low ground, waterways, wet and dry areas, dark and light soil, etc. For every 100 sweeps, count the total number of WCR adults. You’ll want to sample areas within fifty feet of a corn field separately.
If you find a high number of beetles, consult your agronomist or local university extension.
With trait technologies
If your soybean fields have high WCR pressure, you may need to consider preventative measures. SmartStax® corn trait technology can help you manage WCR pressure and maximize your yield potential.