The “Billion Dollar Bug” meanwhile is at it again across much of the Corn Belt. The corn rootworm risk level is high, according to the latest Pest Report from


Check out this map, showing areas most at risk, which includes all the big corn growing states. The report attributes this to continued heat unit accumulations being met or exceeded for corn rootworm. Entomologist Ann Marie Journey has studied the pest for a long time and shares something important to keep in mind when fighting it.

“When we approach the rootworm as just a problem that has to be solved, you’re not taking into account the animal’s biology. You’re hitting it just at certain points or with certain methods or controls, and you’re not allowing yourself in effect to have a conversation to gain insight back from the rootworms about what it is that makes them successful in any given place. The more you know about what is making them successful, the more you might be able to do to make their life more complicated.”

Journey will share more corn rootworm insights during a presentation at the National Strip-Tillage Conference. It’s coming up Aug. 8-9 in Madison, Wis. Reserve your spot at

Watch the full version of this episode of Conservation Ag Update.