Over the past two seasons, farmers across the Corn Belt have participated in an online, early warning system tool to monitor above ground pests that could threaten their corn yields. For 2012, the Insect Forecast tool program has been enhanced to track another pest: corn rootworm.

Matt Kirkpatrick, Monsanto corn traits marketing manager, says farmers can now log onto the site, www.insectforecast.com, to learn when corn rootworm larvae are hatching in their area, allowing for better timing to scout their fields for potential root damage. The corn rootworm hatch varies by geography, but typically occurs from early- to mid-June in the Corn Belt and often coincides with the first appearance of lightening bugs.

“The Insect Forecast tool this season will also continue to track the migration of two damaging above ground insects — corn earworm and western bean cutworm — that can significantly reduce yield by feeding on corn ears,” Kirkpatrick says. “Just three damaged kernels per ear can translate into a loss of one bushel-per-acre.”

Kirkpatrick adds that greater awareness about the annual corn rootworm hatch and migration patterns of corn earworm and western bean cutworm moths can help farmers minimize their impact.

Farmers in the Corn Belt can sign up at www.insectforecast.com to receive email alerts from May through September to learn when these insects pose a risk in their areas. Text alerts are also available.

The full news release from Monsanto can be found here: http://monsanto.mediaroom.com/farmers-can-monitor-rootworm-hatch.