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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Implement for Dislodging Maize Roots from the Soil for Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) Damage Evaluations

Authors
item Praiswater, T - UNIV OF MISSOURI
item HIBBARD, BRUCE
item Barry, B
item Darrah, Larry
item Smith, Vincent - UNIV OF MISSOURI

Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Evaluation of damage to corn roots caused by corn rootworm infestations requires that the main root mass be dislodged from the soil, which can be quite labor intensive. A tractor-pulled implement was built to determine if it reduced the labor required to loosen the major components of the corn root system from the soil. Using four-pronged garden forks, an average of 28.6 roots/hr per person were removed from the field. Using the root digger, an average of 92.4 roots/hr per person were removed from the field. The root digger reduced the labor required to recover roots for rootworm evaluations by a factor more than three-fold and did not cause any more damage to the root system than digging with four-pronged garden forks. The system will be useful for small-plot root studies in which plants can be destroyed.

Technical Abstract: Evaluation of damage to maize (Zea mays L.) roots caused by corn rootworm (the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, the northern corn rootworm, D. barberi Smith and Lawrence and the southern corn rootworm, D. undecimpunctata howardi Barber) infestations requires that the main root mass be dislodged from the soil, which can be quite labor intensive. A tractor-pulled implement was built to determine if it reduced the labor required to loosen the major components of the maize root system from the soil. Using four-pronged garden forks, an average of 28.6 roots/hr per person were removed from the field. Using the root digger, an average of 92.4 roots/hr per person were removed from the field. The root digger reduced the labor required to recover roots for rootworm evaluations by a factor more than three-fold and did not cause any more damage to the root system than digging with four-pronged garden forks. The system will be useful for small-plot root studies in which plants can be destroyed.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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