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Western Corn Rootworm Hatch Underway Across Central Illinois

  • June 5, 2014

Larry Bledsoe and his Purdue University entomology colleagues have a long tradition of being the first to report the annual hatch of western corn rootworm larvae. Larry  indicated to me and some other entomologists that hatch began to occur on June 2 on one of the research farms near the Purdue University campus.
Provided below is a list (19 years) of western corn rootworm hatch dates (for central Illinois and central Indiana) taken from previous Pest Management and Crop Development Bulletin articles (since 1996) and based upon observations by Larry Bledsoe and other  Purdue University entomologists.…

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Be Alert for Potato Leafhoppers in Alfalfa: New Pest Profile Published Recently

  • May 27, 2014

Reports of potato leafhoppers in alfalfa typically begin to increase in late May and early June. Many entomologists consider potato leafhoppers to be the most significant economic insect threat to profitable alfalfa production. Recently a team of entomologists from the University of Wisconsin, the Illinois Natural History Survey, and the USDA ARS authored a peer-reviewed pest profile of potato leafhoppers. This profile offers up-to-date information on the biology, life cycle, injury, hosts, and management options for this key pest in alfalfa.…

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Scattered Reports of Armyworms in Wheat Across Southern Illinois

  • May 20, 2014

There have been scattered reports of armyworm infestations in southern Illinois wheat with some fields receiving an insecticide treatment. I encourage producers to review the biology, life cycle, and management information in the University of Illinois fact sheet on armyworms. With respect to economic thresholds, there is some variation from state to state. Provided below are thresholds from four land grant universities for consideration. They share some common features. If an insecticide rescue treatment is warranted,…

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Considerations for fungicide management of Fusarium head blight of wheat

  • May 9, 2014

Wheat plants are now beginning to head out and flower in parts of southern Illinois. During this critical time of wheat development, wheat becomes susceptible to infection by Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB; also known as scab) (Fig. 1). This disease can cause reduced grain yield, test weight, and quality. In addition, the fungus can produce toxins that will contaminate grain such as deoxynivalenol (DON; also known as vomitoxin).…

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Black Cutworm – Projected Cutting Dates for Some Illinois Counties

  • April 28, 2014

Significant flights of black cutworm moths were reported in several counties of Illinois during mid-April. Based upon these captures of moths in pheromone traps, projected cutting dates are offered for the following counties: Champaign (May 20), Fayette (May 11), Logan (May 14), Madison (May 11), Pike (May 17), and Warren (May 18). Fields most at risk to economic infestations include those that are planted late and infested with winter annuals. Weedy fields are often targeted for egg laying by these strong migratory moths.…

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Field Evolved Western Corn Rootworm Resistance to Bt (Cry3Bb1) Confirmed in Three Additional Illinois Counties

  • April 3, 2014

On August 24, 2012, in cooperation with Dr. Aaron Gassmann’s laboratory, Iowa State University, I confirmed the evolution of field resistance by western corn rootworms to the Cry3Bb1 protein in some problem fields located in northwestern Illinois (Henry and Whiteside Counties). During the summer of 2012, Dr. Joe Spencer, Illinois Natural History Survey, received suspected Bt-resistant western corn rootworm adults that had been collected in continuous cornfields in McDonough, Mercer, and Sangamon Counties. Eggs were obtained from these adults in the laboratory.…

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Cover Crop Field Day March 28th at the Ewing Demonstration Center

  • March 18, 2014

Hearing a lot about cover crops lately but unsure if or how they will work for you? Then plan to attend the Cover Crop Field Day at the University of Illinois Extension Ewing Demonstration Center on March 28, 2014 starting at 10 AM.  The field day offers the latest information on cover crops uses – from livestock grazing, soil erosion and compaction reduction, increasing soil organic matter, to increasing future nutrient availability.
Topics for the tour include:
–         …

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Western Corn Rootworm Egg Survival and the Winter of 2013-14: What’s the Likely Outcome?

  • March 18, 2014

The winter of 2013-14 will long be remembered as one of the snowiest and coldest since the late 1970s for many midwestern states. Not surprisingly,  many questions have surfaced regarding the impact of these cold temperatures on the overwintering survival of western corn rootworm eggs. Research on this topic has only sparingly occurred. In my estimation, one of the best field studies on this challenging research area, was undertaken by an Iowa State University graduate student,…

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Western Corn Rootworm Management Webinar (February 20, 2014) Recorded and Available for Viewing

  • February 26, 2014

On February 20, 2014, a webinar was presented by five land grant entomologists (see below) concerning western corn rootworm management challenges and recommendations. As we move forward this year, there remain many lingering concerns regarding the root protection performance of some Bt hybrids in light of the evolving resistance to certain traits. The live webinar was well received (over 300 participants); however, for those unable to take part in this session, you can now view the recorded session. …

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Corn Rootworm Management Webinar – February 20, 2014

  • February 3, 2014

As we approach the 2014 growing season, many questions remain concerning how best to manage western corn rootworms in light of the on-going concerns over resistance to some Bt proteins. A corn rootworm management webinar will be available on February 20 (Thursday), 2014. The program will begin at 1 PM (CST) and conclude at 3:30 PM. The program is supported by a USDA-NIFA North Central IPM Program grant. An excellent slate of land grant entomologists will take part in this session:

  • Rootworm biology and behavior;

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