WormWarrior Tour teaches insect biology

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The WormWarrior Tour sponsored by Genuity from Monsanto is an outreach program designed to give FFA students in-field demonstrations of failed and successful pest management for corn. It educates the students about row-crop pests and the lifecycle of pests that attack corn.

This second year program kicked off near Kansas City at a Camden Point, Mo., field this year with students from two FFA chapters sending representatives to hear Leanna Trail provide information in an entertaining but educational manner. Trail is the Monsanto insect management technical development representative for the Western Great Plains including Texas and a portion of far west Missouri.  She has the largest territory of the nine Monsanto reps with her title.

Trail talked insect biology and field scouting more than anything else and stressed that students who are interested in agricultural occupations from being farmers to representatives of crop protection companies need to take science courses while in high school and college. She talked about job responsibilities for her job and other personnel within Monsanto and also talked career potential with the students.

She showed the students how to “dig roots,” wash the roots looking for rootworms and how to judge the degree of rootworm feeding that corn rootworms have done to corn plants. Trail noted that she’ll probably dig 10,000 roots in a growing season.

Trail also mentioned Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn blend and the value this seed product brings to integrated pest management on the farm.

FFA students from the East Buchanan FFA Chapter from Gower, Mo., and the St. Joseph FFA Chapter/Hillyard Technical Center from St. Joseph, Mo., attended the Camden Point tour stop.

The first three WormWarrior tour stops have now been completed. They were Camden Point, July 8; Monmouth, Ill., July 9; and Champaign, Ill., July 10.

The tour stops yet to come are Mapleton, Minn., July 15; Freemont, Nebr., July 17; Gothenburg, Nebr., July 18; Atlantic, Iowa, July 21; and Williamsburg, Iowa, July 22.

The contact for FFA students and advisors is Erica Guthrie at eguthrie@mccormickcompany.com.

WormWarrior sign designating the tour stop at Camden Point, Mo.

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