This is a close up shot of corn rootworm larvae.Rootworm pressures were not all that heavy this year due to the amount of moisture we received.
Small baby rootworm larvae are
very small.Heavy mortality can occur in a wet year like we've experienced in 2009.
When rootworm larvae pupate they emerge from the soil as adult beetles.In this case as Western Corn Rootworm beetles.The big concern with heavy beetle emergence is the potential for silk clipping which can affect pollination and reduce seed set.Rootworm beetles have clipped all the silks from this plant.If pollen shed occurred before silks were clipped then seed set may not be affected.However if pollen shed occurred after silk clipping then fertilization will be impacted and poor seed set will be the end result.( PHOTO COURTESY OF PHIL BAX )In this case poor seed set has occurred because of beetle silk clipping before pollination.The one good thing about Heculex Xtra (HXX) hybrids is that they offer the industrys best control of rootworm larvae so that very few adult rootworm beetles ever emerge from the soil profile to cause any silk clipping injury.