After a long hot muggy day scouting corn and beans I have come to the conclusion, I will never be as young as I am today!
Several plants caught my eye today, I noticed stunted plants with the emerging leaf beginning to die. After digging up the few that I found, I came to the conclusion that we have a mild infestation of wireworms in some corn fields. Right now they are not following a pattern as far as field location. One was no-till corn following soybeans, the other was chisel plowed wheat stubble going to corn.
Both fields had a pre emergent application of an insecticide at labeled rates.
Further soil digging did not find any around the other plants but on occasion I would find a wilted plant as pictured above. No rescue treatments are effective and these fields are no where close to limiting yield. Scouting is a very important part of our regimen and this year it has paid big to our growers. If your not looking at your fields and constantly monitoring them - problems such as this might go undetected. Future use of In-furrow insecticides or 2x2 row applications need to be implemented into your practice once this insect has been detected, as well as a insecticide seed treatment.
Life cycle of this insect may be as much as 2-6 years. Worm potential can be determined using a Bait station technique. Average of one wireworm per station is equal to economic infestation.