In North Carolina we have a problem with Southern Corn Rootworm. This pest goes
by many names and can attack many different families of crops. The adults
will feed on Soybean foliage then move to a more suitable host egg deposition
(ie. corn, peanut, etc.). Adults will also feed on Cucumber, Melons, Pumpkins,
and Peanut foliage and deposit eggs in these crops.
Southern Corn Rootworm has been extensively studied in Peanuts in NC. In
Peanuts the inmature larval stage attacks the pod and nut of the peanut plant
in the ground. This can be very devistating to the crop and the lively hood of
the farmer. Soil color, soil texture, soil moisture, plant size, ground cover,
and weather play interacting roles in the development of this pest in a peanut
crop on any given year. The relative location of the crop to another host plant
plays an insignificant role in this development. Several years have been spent
studying this pest in Peanuts, due to the potential destruction that can occur,
to develop a predictive model of an outbreak. In some years soil color played
a major role in development in other years it did not, same with texture.
Weather plays a very significant role but again was not always the a good
predictor. Number of adults on the peanut foliage did not corelate directly to
severity of attack to the pod/nut.
With the mobility of the adult Southern Corn Rootworm and the variety of host
plants, rotation plays a very limited role in the development of this pest in
Perhaps the Northern Corn Rootworm does not have a variety of host plants and
is also non mobile! If this is the case then go rotation, rotation, rotation.
On Jan 11, 12:51pm, E. Ann Clark wrote:
> Subject: Re: root worm management
> Bill: Well put. Genetic engineering is a genetic solution for a management
> problem, and a doubly costly one. Not only does GE seed cost more, but it
> exacerbates the problem it is intended to resolve - sort of like chemicals,
> It is the wrong answer to the wrong question.
> As noted below, crop rotation can control rootworms, but I'm not clear that
> this would help for cornborer or Colorado potato beetle - the current fave of
> Bt-afficionados - because they are mobile. Ann
> Bill Liebhardt wrote:
> > In the mid 1980's I was a speaker at a conference at Purdue. At this
> > conference a speaker made a presentation about all the chemical treatments
> > that could be used to control root worms in corn and how effective they
> > were. At the end of his talk he said almost as an after thought that if
> > you had a rotation of other crops with corn that root worms were not a
> > factor in the production of corn. In other words crop diversity would solve
> > the the problem. So if corn was grown in a rotation we would not need the
> > chemicals or the Bt corn in the first place. Seems to me like a common
> > contemporary problem-ignoring ecological principals. How do we deal with
> > this? We create chemicals and plants that can get around the problem that
> > was created by mismanagement in the first place and we call this new
> > technology. Maybe we should approach the problem as a management problem
> > but we always seems to want the next silver bullet to bail us out of a
> > problem that could be dealt with in a much easier fashion.
> > Bill Liebhardt
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>-- End of excerpt from E. Ann Clark
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