Are non-conventional corn rootworm treatments effective?

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Are non-conventional corn rootworm treatments effective?

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Every year I get questions regarding the use of non-conventional products for controlling corn rootworms as replacements for traditional insecticides. These include products such as sulfur, turpentine, soybean meal, dry molasses, kelp, fish meal, diatomaceous earth, and kerosene. Typically, someone will use one of these products for a year or two and not have a rootworm problem. The immediate assumption is that the non-conventional product was effective. In fact, there were probably no rootworms to control and the grower would have been better off to use nothing. All of the above mentioned products have been university tested in field plots with known economic insect pressure from corn rootworms. All of them failed and were no better than check treatments where no control measure was used. Crop rotation and corn rootworm beetle scouting are still the only effective methods to reduce insecticide use on corn acreage unless you simply want to take your chances and use nothing. The latter

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