If corn growers could have a dashboard for pest pressure, it likely would be blinking red for corn rootworm (CRW) in many parts of the Midwest in 2021, suggesting soil insecticides should be a key consideration for the coming year’s pest control program.
Several factors in 2020 indicated resulted in greater than usual CRW damage was greater than usual, including:
• A drop in commodity prices, which led growers to seek cost savings through a reduction in below-ground traits in their hybrids, or through decreased use of soil insecticides.
• Weather conditions following planting that likely resulted in an extended CRW larval hatch and a higher survival rate.
• An increase in escape of weeds, especially of waterhemp and giant ragweed, which are an attractive food source and habitat for CRW beetles during the egg-laying period.
• Field-level resistance events among all four commercial traits available for below-ground CRW protection.
One thing is for certain: CRW pressure can build faster than many growers realize. CRW beetles are expected to reach peak activity in continuous corn in parts of several key states in 2021.
Tools for CRW Protection in 2021
The good news: Growers will have plenty of choices for CRW protection to accommodate a variety of equipment and agronomic needs next year.
AMVAC’s line of soil insecticides includes its AZTEC brands in SmartBox, bags, and high-concentration (HC) formulation in SmartCartridge containers for the 2021 market introduction of the SIMPAS Closed Application System. AMVAC’s portfolio also features SmartChoice HC; FORCE 10G; a liquid insecticide in INDEX; and COUNTER 20G, which is used as an insecticide and a nematicide.
For the introduction of the SIMPAS system, both AZTEC HC and FORCE 10G as well as COUNTER 20G will be available in SmartCartridge containers as SIMPAS applied Solutions (SaS).
In 2021, AMVAC also will launch SmartBox+, an upgrade to the current SmartBox system with what the company believes is a highly accurate and more foolproof metering system for application of a single granular product.