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I read your last post regarding burrower bugs, Lorsban, etc. I agree 100%. There are so many unknowns with this pest and even though Mark Abney has done quite a bit of work on it, we don’t know how well that applied to NC. I think we can feel confident that it is more of a threat under reduced tillage and in dry years. From my perspective it seems odd that we haven’t seen infestations concentrated along the SC border since SC has more of a problem. It’s not the first time, however, that I have not understood a problem.
I do not know if last year was an “odd” year and we probably won’t see many of them again. I have no insight into answering that question. Two years ago we saw record levels of fall armyworms in eastern NC and then last year, they were hard to find. Insects have a way of doing that to us.
I agree that Lorsban probably played a suppressing effect on burrower bug populations. I don’t think that is the complete answer because I think many of our higher risk fields for this pest are not higher risk fields for rootworms and thus most likely never received a Lorsban app. However, I do think where Lorsban was used, it helped prevent problems.
As you know we are aggressively seeking answers to the rootworm concerns given that we lost Lorsban. We are planning quite a bit of work this year and now several companies have expressed interest since there is a market. We will certainly want to look at these products for possible burrower bug suppression if we continue to see localized outbreaks.
We also do not know the impact of our very mild winter. Burrower bugs are more problematic to the south. However, I am not willing to speculate as to whether the absence of a cold winter will make them worse even in the context of the fact that last winter was also one of the warmest on record.