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Posted 19 November 2007. PMN Crop News.

Post-Harvest Research Summaries Confirm Pioneer Brand Hybrids with Herculex XTRA More Effective Against Corn Rootworm

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Des Moines, Iowa (November 8, 2007)--Post-harvest research summaries from multiple Midwestern locations confirm early trial results that showed Pioneer(R) brand hybrids with Herculex(R) XTRA are consistently superior to other corn rootworm management options, including other transgenic and soil insecticides.


In the seven university and 11 Pioneer agronomy sciences trials, Pioneer(R) hybrids with the Herculex(R) traits were more effective against root damage, compared to hybrids with the YieldGard(R) traits developed by Monsanto.

The university and agronomy sciences research trials evaluated nodes of roots injured by corn rootworm. In the trials, Herculex(R) XTRA averaged 0.06 nodes destroyed, whereas YieldGard VT(TM) averaged 0.11 and the untreated check averaged 0.70. Specifically, in the University of Illinois rootworm product efficacy trial at Urbana, Herculex(R) XTRA averaged 0.49 nodes destroyed, whereas YieldGard VT(TM) averaged 0.84. Evaluations are based on a 0-3 root node scale with 0 being no damage and 3 a fully damaged root.

In addition, consistency ratings, an indicator of variability of root protection, were noticeably higher for hybrids with Herculex(R) traits compared to hybrids with YieldGard(R) traits.

The university research trials were conducted at the University of Illinois (three trials), Iowa State University (one trial) and Purdue University (three trials).

The benefit of Pioneer(R) hybrids with Herculex(R) XTRA is not only protected roots, but higher yields. Recently published two-year Pioneer agronomy sciences systems trials show that Pioneer hybrids with Herculex(R) XTRA, on average, had a three-bushel advantage over DeKalb hybrids with YieldGard(R) Plus.

Hybrids with Herculex(R) XTRA insect protection contain both Herculex(R) I and Herculex(R) RW to guard against a broader range of above- and below-ground insects in corn than any other in-seed product on the market.

While offering good control of western bean cutworms, research also showed that Herculex(R) XTRA provided the highest protection against black cutworms, excellent control of European corn borer and southwestern corn borer, and good protection against fall armyworms.

"Corn rootworm (CRW) larvae are one of the most destructive insects of corn in North America," Murt McLeod, Pioneer agronomy research scientist, said. "Feeding on the root system, damage from corn rootworms can affect standability and limit water and nutrient uptake in the plant, impacting overall plant health and grain development."

Yield losses from corn rootworms of 10 percent to more than 30 percent are common with moderate to high corn rootworm populations in untreated fields. Damage from corn rootworm can vary from year to year, but management of the pest is expected to be an ongoing issue for growers, particularly in areas of continuous corn planting. The variant western corn rootworm also continued to expand in the Corn Belt, particularly in Illinois and Indiana.

"Though corn rootworm pressure was less this past growing season in several areas of the Corn Belt than the previous two years, research trials were good indicators of yield performance during lower pressure situations," McLeod said. "Higher yielding corn is still the overall goal for growers, and hybrids need to perform in all levels of insect pressure."

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.

Herculex(R) insect protection technology by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred. Herculex(R) and the HX logo are registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC.

(R) YieldGard is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company.

Jerry Harrington
800-247-6803, ext. 6908