Silk Feeding - Now Is The Time To Scout

Ryan Siefken, Corn Product Lead
July 16, 2021

Corn Rootworm pressure is high this summer, as expected. Pressure was high in 2020 and the mild winter/dry spring that most of us experienced is making a perfect scenario for high rootworm numbers in 2021. A large part of our footprint has begun pollination this week.  It’s important to get out and scout for silk feeding during pollination, and make a timely insecticide application if the situation warrants. For rootworm, I would advise scouting the fields first that have the most years of consecutive corn. However, we’ve even seen rootworm beetles flying in some rotated fields as well.

Besides rootworms, other insects can feed on silks and cause issues with pollination. The Iowa State article linked below outlines all of the insects to watch out for. Each insect pest has a different threshold, and ISU calls for 5 rootworm beetles per plant while silks are fresh. For rootworm, my bias is to err on the lower side of that threshold. Beetles can hide, so getting a good count isn’t always easy. We get one chance to have successful pollination. 

If you have any questions, please contact your local Hoegemeyer agronomist or representative.

Corn Silks (and Feeders) are Out – Assess Pollination in Fields | Integrated Crop Management (