Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Applied Entomology (2015), 12pp; doi: 10.1111/jen.12276


Copyright © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Used by permission.


Maize, Zea mays L., is an economically important crop grown throughout the world. Corn rootworm, Diabrotica spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), larvae constitute a significant economic threat to maize production in the United States, where yield losses and management costs associated with corn rootworm species exceed $1 billion annually. Furthermore, the introduction of the western corn rootworm, D. virgifera virgifera LeConte, into maize-producing regions of Europe has made managing corn rootworm larval injury an international concern. Larvae injure maize plants by feeding on root tissue and are the primary target of management activities. Products commonly used to protect root systems from injury include chemical insecticides (seed or soil applied) and genetically modified maize hybrids expressing toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt). The confirmation of fieldevolved resistance to various Bt toxins in populations of the western corn rootworm presents a significant management challenge. We performed a meta-analysis to provide a broad understanding of the relative efficacy of the primary products currently being used to manage corn rootworm larval injury, including insecticidal seed treatments, soil insecticides and Bt hybrids (with and without the addition of soil insecticide). Our analysis is unique in the breadth of locations and years included — we analyzed 135 individual trials conducted from 2003 through 2014 at multiple sites in both Illinois and Nebraska. Panel data were produced by pairing the mean node-injury rating for each treatment of a given trial with the mean node-injury rating for untreated maize. Linear regression models were developed to estimate the relationship between the potential for corn rootworm larval injury and product performance. For a given level of injury potential, the parameters estimated reveal differences in the degree of root protection offered by the various product categories analyzed. Implications for developing long-term, integrated, and sustainable practices for managing this important pest of maize are discussed.