What Are the Best Management Practices for Corn Rootworm?

August 8, 2023

Farmer holding a handful of soil

Corn rootworm can be a devastating pest, so it’s important to know your options. Scouting with yellow sticky traps and/or root digs is your best way to determine your pressure. But what kind of management practices are right for you if action is needed? Here are the best options for dealing with corn rootworm.

Crop Rotation

Crop pictures side by side

It’s no surprise that corn rootworms feed on corn plants. Rotating to a non-host crop (such as soybeans) is a cultural practice intended to break up the life cycles of corn rootworms by removing the food they need to survive. If crop rotation is not an option, there are still other management practices you can employ.

Recommended if:

  • At the corn rootworm damage threshold
  • Growing corn on corn for more than five years
  • Experiencing resistance issues (insecticide, traits)

Trait Protection

Once damage from corn rootworm is done, it can’t be undone. That’s why the built-in protection that comes from a trait is key to defending your corn. Like any tool in your toolbox, making sure you’re using the right one for the job will go a long way toward your success. Explore your trait options for corn rootworm below:

VT4PRO with RNAi Technology logo

VT4PRO™ with RNAi Technology** will offer the widest spectrum of insect defense from Bayer with protection against above- and below-ground corn pests.

Recommended if:

  • Corn rootworm pressure is low to moderate

SmartStax PRO with RNAi Technology logo
SmartStax PRO with RNAi Technology logo

SmartStax® PRO with RNAi Technology is the strongest biotech defense against corn rootworm available.*

Recommended if:

  • Corn rootworm pressure is high

Talk to your local Bayer rep or dealer to learn more about these innovative technologies.

Staying Alert with Insect Forecast

In addition to scouting your fields, you can also keep an eye on regional corn rootworm pressure with the help of InsectForecast.com. Sign up to get alerts based on daily insect migration data sent directly to your inbox.

*69 2021 & 2022 Bayer Trials in the corn belt (KS, CO, NE, IA, IL, ND, SD, OH, MN, & WI) vs

Qrome® products in the 95-115 RM range with comparable trait packages.

Bayer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Bayer products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Bayer’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. Commercialized products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.

**VT4PRO™ with RNAi Technology corn products are expected to be commercially available for the 2024 growing season.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your seed brand representative for the registration status in your state.

B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your seed brand representative for the registration status in your state.

IMPORTANT IRM INFORMATION: Certain products are sold as RIB Complete® corn blend products, and do not require the planting of a structured refuge except in the Cotton-Growing Area where corn earworm is a significant pest. Products sold without refuge in the bag (non-RIB Complete) require the planting of a structured refuge. See the IRM/Grower Guide for additional information. Always read and follow IRM requirements.

Roundup Ready 2 Technology® contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Insect control technology provided by Vip3A is utilized under license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG. Herculex® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Agrisure Viptera® is a registered trademark of a Syngenta group company. LibertyLink logo® and LibertyLink® are trademarks of BASF Corporation. Respect the Refuge and Corn Design® and Respect the Refuge® are registered trademarks of National Corn Growers Association. Bayer, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready®, SmartStax® and VT4PRO™ are trademarks of Bayer Group. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2023 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.