Staying Ahead of the Billion-Dollar Bug

April 30, 2022

Have you started to see flashing fireflies around your fields yet? While the illumination makes for a picturesque moment, it historically signals something greater: the arrival of corn rootworm. Read along to see how you can stay prepared and prevent infestation.

Your field evaluations for corn rootworm larvae should begin in late May and continue through mid-June. This is typically the time when the larvae thrive and when growing degree days accumulate to 684 to 767 with a base temperature of 52 degrees F. An annual evaluation of corn rootworm infestations in both corn and soybean fields is important because populations can build rapidly and are influenced by environmental conditions like soil moisture, rotation and soil properties.

While you may find a low population one year, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a low population the following year. But once you do spot larvae, your journey to controlling the pest has just begun. A study detailed in the Channel 2021 Field Research Book shows that corn rootworm beetle numbers in a current growing season could be used to assess the potential risk of corn rootworm larval infestations during the following season.

This study revealed that a pyramided trait product such as SmartStax® Technology can be effective in protecting yield potential from corn rootworm infestations. Proactive management plans are the most effective against yield loss from corn rootworm with Bt-traited corn products with multiple modes of action.


Through the Channel® Field Check Up Series, Seedsmen provide customized recommendations based on the specific growing conditions they observe throughout the growing season. It starts with placing the right products for specific field conditions, continues throughout the season with regular visits to monitor crop development, and culminates with planning for next year based on this year’s results.


Channel 2021 Field Research Book: Comparing Corn Rootworm Trait Platforms

At Channel, we’re committed to helping our farmers maximize performance and profitability through our research and studies. By providing insights and advice, we’re able to help our customers make the most out of our elite seed products.

The Channel 2021 Field Research Book includes compiled and synthesized research about seed treatments and many other topics. The booklet includes key agronomy information that can serve as a resource while you prepare for the 2022 season.