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Corn Rootworm IPM

Regional Working Group


  • Representative roots for each treatment. Left to right: no management, Aztec, SmartStax®, and SmartStax® Pro. Photo by Rebecca Vittetoe.

    Summary of Corn Root Injury Evaluation in Southeast Iowa

    Last week, a team of us met up at the Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm (SERF) to evaluate root injury in a small trial for corn rootworm management. The trial had four treatments replicated eight times. The treatments included no management (glyphosate-tolerant only; no Bt traits or insecticide), granular soil-applied insecticide (Aztec), SmartStax®, and SmartStax® Pro (RNAi).

  • Assembling black cutworm barriers at Johnson Research Farm located near Ames, Iowa. From left to right Leslie Du, Ryan Meehan, and Lydia Holmes

    2020 Evaluation of Insecticides and PIPs PDF

    In Iowa, the species of corn rootworm (CRW) that are of economic importance include western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte and northern corn rootworm D. barberi Smith and Lawrence, and these two species are the most damaging pests of corn, Zea mays, in the United States Corn Belt. Eggs are laid in the soil during the summer and hatch the following spring. Larval feeding on corn roots in June may diminish yield by reducing plant growth and drought tolerance, and by imposing harvest losses due to plant lodging. Adult emergence from the soil is underway by early July, with most adult emergence completed by mid-August. Additional crop losses may be caused by adult beetles feeding on corn silk and soft doughy kernels. In Iowa, crop rotation, where it fits cropping practices, remains the preferred method of management.

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