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Transgenic Performance

Comparative Performance of Transgenic Bt-RW Events against Northern and Western Corn Rootworm Populations in Minnesota

Situation: Data comparing the performance of Bt-RW events under the same field conditions are rare, since licensing have limited the ability of companies to conduct direct comparisons, technology agreements have limited University comparison, and the events (Herculex RW, Agrisure RW, YieldGard RW) are relatively new.

Project Description: This study will compare three hybrid families from DeKalb, Pioneer and Syngenta in on-farm trials across Minnesota. The role of both the transgenic traits and soil insecticides will be examined using four treatments for each hybrid pair (Bt-RW hybrids and its non Bt-RW counterpart) with and without a soil insecticide. Data taken from these replicated studies will include stand, corn height (an index of stress), root injury, lodging, and yield. Emergence cages will be monitored 2X per week at more heavily infested sites to examine effects on CRW populations and the timing of their emergence. Analyses will focus on root, lodging and yield protection by the Bt-RW events, refuge treatments, and their comparative economics.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Evaluate performance of Bt-RW events against northern and western corn rootworms
  • Examine value of traits across a number of MN locations
  • Determine whether layering soil insecticides over Bt-RW events makes sense
  • Document refuge costs and benefits
  • Improve understanding of CRW injury and its impacts on lodging and yield
  • Provide baseline data on transgenic performance before expected shifts in corn rootworm tolerance or resistance occur.

Funding and Logistical Support:
This research is funded by the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council. Seed and logistical assistance provided by Monsanto, Pioneer HiBreds, and Syngenta Seeds. A special “Thank you!” to cooperating farmers, agronomists, crop consultants, and extension educators.

Kenneth Ostlie
Professor and Extension Entomologist
University of Minnesota
Department of Entomology
1980 Folwell Ave., Rm. 219
St. Paul, MN 55108-6125
Cell: (612) 750-0993
Office: (612) 624-7436
Fax: (612) 625-5299
Email questions on corn rootworm