Speaker Spotlight #2: To the Root(worm) of the Problem
Join us at the Ontario Pest Management Conference on November 1st as we look at building resiliency in pest management with a great line-up of speakers. Register in advance here for early-bird pricing. Depending on availability, tickets may be purchased at door the day of the conference.
Meet Plenary Speaker #2 - Dr. Jocelyn Smith
Dr. Jocelyn Smith is an entomologist at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus specializing in integrated management of insect pests of field crops (corn, soybean, and wheat) and resistance management for insect-protected transgenic corn and insecticides. Dr. Smith also studies the interaction and management of insect injury and mycotoxigenic fungi in corn. Her research activities include collaboration with commodity organizations, seed and pesticide industries, public researchers, and government specialists in Canada and internationally.
Battling the Billion Dollar Bug
Corn rootworm Diabrotica spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) is one of the most notorious corn pests in North America, not only because of their destructive behaviour in corn, but also because they have developed resistance to almost every management strategy deployed against them. In Ontario, crop rotation remains the best management strategy for this pest; however, some growers, especially livestock producers, depend on using their land for continuous corn production.
Since the early-2000s, the development of corn hybrids expressing transgenic insecticidal proteins has been one of the most advantageous management strategies again corn rootworm in North America. However, resistance to these proteins has become widespread in the US and is increasing among CRW populations in Ontario, therefore, new, or supplemental strategies for corn rootworm management are needed.
A review of corn rootworm biology and management will be presented as well as recent research on the potential of entomopathogenic nematodes for biological control of corn rootworm in Ontario.