FFA students from Michigan, Ohio and Iowa are mobilizing to help farmers in their communities monitor for the presence of corn rootworm variants by placing sticky traps in their fields in late July.
Chapters will distribute the traps to participating farms beginning July 22 through August 4. The program is sponsored by Monsanto and new YieldGard VT Triple.
Over 230 FFA chapters and nearly 3,500 farmers are participating in the program, which will entail monitoring 5,130 test sites, including 2,840 in Ohio, 390 in Michigan and 1,900 in Iowa. The western corn rootworm variant lays its eggs in soybean fields, and the larvae hatch when the fields have been rotated back to corn the following season, leading to rootworm feeding in first-year corn. The program will also monitor northern corn rootworms, which may be exhibiting similar variant behavior.
FFA members will evenly place sticky traps throughout participating farmers' soybean fields and leave them in place for seven days during the peak flight of adult rootworm beetles. The beetles are drawn to the traps by their yellow color and then are caught on a sticky surface.
FFA youth will then remove the traps, count the number of rootworm beetles embedded on the sticky surface and mail in postcards to Monsanto with the results. Monsanto will provide participating FFA chapters with a $50 donation for each sticky trap site.
An average of five to six beetles per trap per day suggests a potential rootworm variant problem and the need for management options for the 2008 growing season, according to Corby Jensen, Corn Trait Technology Development Manager for Monsanto.