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Evaluating Soil Characteristics as a Potential Means to Minimize Soil Insecticide Usage to Control Corn Rootworm 1998

Project Leaders: John Losey, J. Keith Waldron, Leslie Allee

Objective:

Phase I (1998): Identify and evaluate fields with known field histories and soil characteristics for potential risk to corn rootworm damage.

Results:

Currently, decisions gauging the risk of corn rootworm damage and the need to use soil insecticides or rotate cornfields are based on assessments of corn rootworm beetle populations made the previous year. Thus our monitoring effort in 1998 was designed to provide baseline data for phase II of this study, which will evaluate the use of soil characteristics (soil suitability rating, drainage and pH) in the decision process for the application of soil insecticides to control corn rootworm. Phase II will be conducted in 1999.

Twenty-four fields in Wyoming County were monitored for corn rootworm (CRW) beetles at time of silking. Five plants in each of eleven locations selected at random throughout each field were assessed. None of the fields went over threshold for CRW adult beetles. Sampling efforts were then expanded to include 11 other fields being monitored by the Western New York Crop Management Association that were over threshold for CRW. Sequential sampling methods were used on these fields. Total number of CRW beetles, total number of plants sampled, and average number of CRW beetles per plant were recorded.