Has the way we control rootworms changed? In isolated parts of the Corn Belt, heavy rootworm pressure has challenged one of the traditional methods for control. The good news is that there are “stack trait” options that are very effective in dealing with heavy rootworm populations. The key difference in the two technologies is one mode of action vs. two modes of action. Other options for suppression are crop rotation and insecticides. It seems unlikely that many producers will want to take a “step backwards” and once again adopt wide spread use of soil applied insecticides, and the option of planting soybeans does not work in some business models.
Although the issue is getting more attention this fall and winter, it is not new. There have been reported challenges with rootworm control for the past few years. It has always been my opinion that a change or a technological advancement will take a little longer than you think it will, but in the end, it will have a bigger impact than you anticipated. Regardless of whom you partner with on seed, ask about two modes of action.