Search for Excellence in Crop Production

Wayne Ohnesorg
Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension
Madison County

Ohnesorg, W.*1, , Peterson, Julie A.2, , Meinke, Lance J3,
1 Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension, Norfolk, NE, 68701
2 Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, North Platte, NE, 69101
3 Professor, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68583

Resistance to management tactics by pests is a growing issue worldwide. Over 540 species of insects and mites have developed resistance to pesticides and plant incorporated protectants. Resistance in field populations of western corn rootworm (WCR) to the plant incorporated protectant Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein Cry3Bb1 was first documented in Nebraska from the 2012 growing season. In response to these growing concerns about WCR resistance to Bt, the Wester Corn Rootworm Resistance Update (WCRRU) program was developed by an educator and two specialists. The primary goal of WCRRU was to deliver information on the biology and management of WCR and its resistance to Bt and insecticides. The 45-minute WCRRU PowerPoint and TurningPoint clicker questions were incorporated into the existing private pesticide applicator training program in a portion of Northeast Nebraska. This met the integrated pest management requirements of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and delivered relevant pest management information. In the three years WCRRU was delivered, 928 participants were reached at 29 sessions held in Northeast Nebraska. End-of-meeting and three-year follow up surveys were conducted to assess knowledge gain and behavior changes of participants. The end-of-meeting survey showed that 92.9% of participants increased their knowledge of WCR management practices (n=806) and 77.6% planned to adopt or change management practices within their operations (n=687). Three-year follow up surveys revealed 67% of respondents (n=321) reported changing productions practices to reduce WCR resistance development. The end-of-meeting survey respondents represented approximately 1 million acres. When asked about the estimated value of the knowledge gained, participants indicated a value of $6.48 per acre, for an estimated value of WCRRU of $6.8 million.