On Agronomy Day (Aug. 16), University of Illinois entomology professor Mike Gray said he hopes “to definitely say one way or another” if Bt resistance has been confirmed in Illinois. Such resistance was confirmed last year in Iowa.
Although Gray has seen unacceptable levels of corn root damage in a number of fields, he said he hadn’t received results that confirm Bt resistance.
The 2012 growing season has been ideal for corn rootworms, he said.
“When the rootworms hatched one month early, they found themselves in ideal soil (conditions). They don’t like saturated soils,” Gray said.
Not only did the larva find good dry soil conditions, they also found plenty of corn roots to eat because farmers had planted early, he added.
“Rootworm injury is more significant during dry years,” Gray said.
At the U of I Crop Research Center off St. Mary’s Road south of the Urbana campus, field tours will start at 7 a.m. and leave every half hour until noon. Research presentations will include corn rootworm resistance, behavior in refuge and transgenic corn, and new management strategies.
Other tour topics include emerging crop diseases, weed control strategies, nutrient management, and corn and soybean genetics.
New this year will be spray nozzle demonstrations at 10 and 11 a.m. in the exhibition tent. Scott Bretthauer, Extension specialist in pesticide safety education, will demonstrate the different types of nozzles available.
Bretthauer said his 30-minute presentations will cover balancing spray coverage with the risk of spray drift. Before and after the demonstrations, Bretthauer will be available to answer questions about drift and efficacy.
The tent will feature displays by ag researchers, commercial vendors, and student clubs.
Editor's note: The only access to the University of Illinois Agronomy Day, Thursday, Aug. 16 will be via the east end of St. Mary’s Road off Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. The west end of St. Mary’s Road is closed because of construction. Signs will direct visitors to the Agronomy Day exhibition and the parking area. The event starts at 7 a.m.
For more details, go online to http://agronomyday.cropsci.illinois.edu/