Indiana CCA Conference 2019 Presentation



Pest Management
Tue, Dec 17, 2019
9:00am to 9:50am


Pest Management
Tue, Dec 17, 2019
2:00pm to 2:50pm


Corn rootworm beetles are historic pests with a troubling capacity for resistance.  They owe their success and status as our #1 corn pest to a life cycle that is intimately tied to corn.  In addition, our inability to appreciate rootworm ecology and behavior has played a particularly important role in western corn rootworm (WCR) resistance to crop rotation and Bt corn hybrids. I will use these prominent WCR management failures, and some successes, to inform our thinking about the future.  Successfully managing the WCR of the future will require that we learn from past mistakes, understand current WCR biology, and always build integrated pest- and resistance management principles into what’s new and novel. 


Joseph Spencer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I am an entomologist with broad interests in insect behavior and ecology. My primary research focuses on the behavioral, physiological, and ecological mechanisms underlying western corn rootworm (WCR) resistance to crop rotation and Bt corn hybrids. I study the movement and dispersal of WCR beetles within and between cornfields and rotated crops/ refuges. I have keen interest in WCR resistance to Bt corn, resistance bioassays, WCR movement and mating in Bt-corn, egglaying and the role of WCR behavior in Insect Resistance Management (IRM). I am also involved with a variety of studies related to species in tallgrass prairies. I enjoy applying my macro-photography and observational skills to enhance my research and extension activities.