Biological control of corn rootworm with native N.Y. entomopathogenic nematodes

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Thirty years of research in New York has yielded a new biological strategy for corn rootworm in New York and throughout the Corn Belt. The discovery of using native New York entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) that have not lost their genetic ability to persist across adverse conditions, along with mixing EPN species to cover the agricultural soil profile, controls soil insects including CRW, across multiple growing seasons with a single application. This new strategy has opened a new door in biological control of a broad range of agricultural soil insect pests. The concept of using native EPNs in EPN species mixes to tackle soil insect pest problems was developed during research to find an effective management strategy for alfalfa snout beetle, an insect that destroys alfalfa in a single year with its root feeding larvae. Alfalfa snout beetle is currently restricted in North America to nine northern New York counties and a small portion of southeast Ontario, Canada. Currently, the concept of applying a single application of native persistent EPNs for multi-year control of alfalfa snout beetle has been applied to more than 28,000 alfalfa snout beetle- infested acres. As a result, alfalfa stand life has returned to four to six years rather than one to two years. Within this research, it was observed that these native EPNs are also effective on CRW, when the alfalfa field was rotated to corn.

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Progressive Dairy magazine is printed 20 times each year for forward-thinking U.S. dairy producers. The award-winning magazine's editors and contributors provide compelling features, helpful articles, insightful news analysis, and entertaining commentary about the people, practices and topics related to a dairy lifestyle.


Progressive Dairy and Papillon sponsor The Manager insert in Progressive Dairy. These research results, and their application to New York and U.S. agriculture, were made possible only with the long-term financial support of Northern N.Y. Agricultural Development Program, N.Y. Farm Viability Institute, Cornell University, and USDA funding from Hatch and multi-state programs.

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Progressive Dairy


biological; control; corn; rootworm; entomopathogenic; nematode


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