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Resource for navigating corn insect-resistance traits

As farmers consider their corn seed purchases, the Handy Bt Trait Table can help sort out the transgenic, insect-resistance traits available.

Source: Penn State University

Many farmers have been considering the corn seed they want to purchase for the 2020 growing season. With companies offering different packages of transgenic traits to protect against insects and herbicides, the choices can become confusing. To cut through this confusion, entomologists at Michigan State and Texas A&M Universities continue to team up to offer theĀ Handy Bt Trait Table. This two page summary, which is updated annually, has become a valuable insect-management resource that provides a list of commercial product names, the transgenic traits they contain, the insects against which they protect, whether any of the targeted pests have evolved resistance to the traits, the available herbicide tolerance traits, and any non-Bt refuge requirements.

As always, growers are encouraged to purchase only those Bt traits that they really need given their local pest populations. In Pennsylvania, for example, only continuous corn production benefits from belowground Bt traits targeting rootworm larvae. Rotated fields, on the other hand, like those that transition from soybean last year to corn this year, will not benefit from rootworm control because rootworm larvae will not colonize first-year corn fields. The Handy Bt Trait Table can help growers find available trait packages with aboveground Bt protection, but not belowground protection. If you would like to discuss which trait combinations are good for your situation, feel free to get in touch. Best of luck in 2020.

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Source: Penn State University

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