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Wireworm Pressure High (06/21/18)

Wireworm damage is being observed in sunflower in the Mohall area, especially in sunflower following small grain or corn.

Wireworm Pressure High

Wireworm damage is being observed in sunflower in the Mohall area, especially in sunflower following small grain or corn. Wireworms tunnel through seedling plants causing death of the seedlings, and often kill the seedling right at germination. Stand loss from high wireworm populations can be significant. For example, a field in which we are running insecticide efficacy trials for wireworms was seeded at 25,000 plant per acre. However, the established stand was only 18,000 plants per acre after wireworm feeding, a 28% stand reduction! Producers are having to over seed to compensate for wireworm loss, and that’s an added expense.

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In our 2018 insecticide trials for wireworm control in sunflower, we are testing in-furrow pyrethroids alone, thiamethoxam seed treatment alone and combinations of in-furrow pyrethroids and thiamethoxam seed treatment. However, stand count data shows that we are still losing plant stand from wireworm feeding injury even with the combination treatments. Fortunately, we also are testing experimental seed treatments in wheat and sunflower with new modes of action that should kill the wireworms. Syngenta and BASF plan to release these new insecticides for wireworm control in wheat and corn by 2019.

 

Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

 

Patrick Beauzay

State IPM Coordinator

Research Specialist, Extension Entomology

 

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