Today, the first day in a while without hail, tornado warnings, thunderstorms, intense rain, etc., Jason and I went out to check on some of the test corn only to find it wasn’t up like we anticipated. Digging up the seeds, we found many seeds were missing and what seeds we did find had the below ground growing tip of the shoot chewed off = WIRE WORMS (beetle larvae http://ppp.missouri.edu/newsletters/ipcm/archives/v12n4/ipmltr3.htm) .
Wireworm problems are usually avoided by rotation to a non-host such as soybeans. This field was corn behind cotton, but the wire worms were still there. There are many species of wireworms and some spend multiple years underground, but they all respond to insecticides (http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=M171) applied before or at planting. Seed treatments alone may not be effective for wireworm control. We didn’t use an insecticide before or at planting, but we have an opportunity to correct that when we replant.