Channel Seedsman Matt Hasenauer, from North Platte, Nebraska, talks about the best process for scouting for corn rootworm.
- Root digs are critical for evaluating a healthy root system.
- Waiting until you see beetle pressure at pollination is too late to control corn rootworm.
What is your process for scouting for corn rootworm?
Early in the season it's just about digging roots. It's being out in that field and once again all of the damage is occurring below the ground surface, so you can walk through a field and you may have some very heavy root feeding, but when that plant's only 12 inches to 40 inches tall, you probably won't see the root lodging at that point. It's very important to get out there, and even though you have a very healthy-looking field of corn, you need to dig plants. It's nice if you can get some plastic and can kind of contain all of the dirt. Do a wash test. Put the roots in a bucket. Usually the rootworm will float to the top. So there's a lot of ways but ultimately the only way you're gonna find them is if you go looking for them. They're not a pest that's going to present itself. If you wait until you see the beetle pressure at pollination time, it's really too late at that point to do a good job of controlling the damage they've already done to the roots, because the roots are already done growing.