Alternatives to Lorsban for Rootworms Peanut Notes No. 121 2022

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I was asked what alternatives to Lorsban do we have for rootworm control in peanuts. Here is my answer to that text.

There is currently no chemical option for rootworms in absence of Lorsban. Rick Brandenburg and Brian Royals are looking at insecticides to control the adults but we do not have data that shows this is an effective approach. There is no good way to predict when the vast majority of adults will enter the field and that would require multiple applications (of insecticide), possibly 3 giving six weeks of protection. But this could cause mites to flare, especially with this year with dry conditions (which means the risk of rootworms is lower with our drought conditions.) This depends on the insecticide, and Steward is one being pushed and it is gentle on beneficial organisms and would likely not flare mites. But is costs $45 for 3 sprays with no promise of control. A pyrethroid would really flare mites. We are not recommending this approach until we have data. The fear is that chasing the adults could be expensive and ineffective.

Generally, we think that about 25% of our acres have risk (to rootworms,) but maybe only 5-10% are at risk for levels of damage that are measurable in terms of yield. And then less than 5% are at risk for major yield loss. But it is hard to know what fields will be hot hard. Under current rainfall patterns, risk is low across much of the state and risk is high for mites across much of the state.

Wish we had a sure chemical option but we don’t. We will know more about the foliar sprays for next year. Take a look at the SCRW risk index. Many of our fields are at low to moderate risk. And many folks have had fields with these risk levels and have not been treating with Lorsban and have not experienced significant damage.