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Save Your Wheat from Wireworm Damage in 2021

September 29, 2020
This agronomic image shows wireworm in wheat

Wireworm in wheat.

As you think about pest management in your 2021 spring wheat, it’s helpful to identify the key stressors that could take a bite out of your bottom line. Wireworm is a particularly tough pest, and according to researchers at North Dakota State University, its severity has been increasing in the state. To stay ahead of this yield-robbing pest, here’s what you need to know:

  • Wireworms feed on germinating seeds and young seedlings, which can result in damaged wheat crops, weaker stands and reduced yields.
  • Open wounds caused by wireworm feeding can make wheat vulnerable to greater disease infection.
  • Cool, moist soil this season can create a conducive environment for wireworms, and since they are able to live in soil for up to 5 years, they can reappear in your crop next season.
  • Wireworms can attack wheat seedlings early, before you even notice symptoms. Once they mature as brown-orange click beetles, wheat plants may already have damaged roots and reduced yield potential.

Wireworms can be a dangerous threat to wheat roots and improving root health is critical for plants to reach maximum yield potential. Strong roots help establish better plant stands and can penetrate deeper into the soil to ensure maximum water and nutrient uptake. Routine scouting to know pest pressure in your fields and planting seed treated with an insecticide/fungicide seed treatment are proactive measures you can take to save wheat roots from wireworms and other early-season insects.

To help safeguard wheat from these early-season pests, we recommend CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® Cereals seed treatment. With 4 proven and tested chemistries, CruiserMaxx Vibrance Cereals delivers superior pest protection and preserves root health. Plus, the built-in rate of Cruiser® insecticide seed treatment delivers wireworm suppression and offers flexibility to add additional Cruiser 5FS for enhanced wireworm activity and protection against aphids, Hessian fly and other key pests.

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