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Posted 21 February 2012. PMN Crop News.

New Multi-year Data Show Dow AgroSciences SmartStax Continues to Provide Consistent Control of Above-Ground Corn Insects

Source: Dow AgroSciences Press Release.

Indianapolis, Indiana (February 14, 2012)--Four years of data reinforce that Dow AgroSciences SmartStax® continues to provide consistent, effective control of a broad spectrum of above-ground insects in corn. Dow AgroSciences and university trials showed that damage from black cutworm (BCW), western bean cutworm (WBCW), corn earworm (CEW) and fall armyworm (FAW) is significantly lower on plants with SmartStax technology compared with single-mode of action or non-Bt hybrids. Multi-year data released in December also show SmartStax continues to provide effective corn rootworm control.


“Data from 2011 builds on previous years’ results that show SmartStax keeps insect damage below economic thresholds to protect whole-farm yield potential,” says Cole Hansen, Dow AgroSciences traits marketing manager. “Protection from the broadest spectrum of insects also means corn growers can have peace of mind that their crop is protected, even from insects migrating into new territories.”

Black cutworm

Data from 2008 to 2011 across 15 locations show that corn stands of non-Bt hybrids were reduced by nearly 36 percent when infested with BCW larvae. Plots planted to Dow AgroSciences SmartStax® experienced only a slight stand reduction of 8.5 percent (Figure A).

Central Illinois corn grower Chuck Trainor lost more than half of the rows he planted with a non-SmartStax hybrid when a BCW outbreak occurred on his farm in 2011. The rows in the same field that were planted with Dow AgroSciences SmartStax remained intact with minimal damage.

“We did some population counts, and they were about 15,000 plants per acre (in the non-SmartStax strips). We could have potentially lost $700 per acre if we had not come back and replanted another (hybrid). And we still will have some lost revenue due to the later planting date on the second corn,” Trainor says.

Fall armyworm

Multiple generations of FAW can feed on a corn crop in one season. Dow AgroSciences SmartStax provides season-long protection from this insect, which feeds on leaves. In field trials across 24 locations over four years, Dow AgroSciences SmartStax hybrids received only a 0.4 rating on the FAW scale1 of 0 to 9 — a minor injury caused by FAW consuming leaf tissue until a lethal dose of the protein is ingested. Non-Bt hybrids received an average 4.6 rating (Figure B) with damage ranging from several 1.3 to 2.5-cm-long elongated lesions on whorl and furl leaves to elongated lesions greater than 2.5 cm long and small to mid-sized holes eaten from the whorl or furl leaves.

Western bean cutworm

“WBCW feeds on developing tassels, silks and eventually kernels, directly impacting yield,” says Dwain Rule, Dow AgroSciences biology team leader. “This pest has gradually migrated east over the past several years, and now corn growers in states as far east as Pennsylvania and New York are starting to see western bean cutworm show up in their fields.”

Trials from 11 locations over four years showed that Dow AgroSciences SmartStax® is effective at controlling WBCW and protecting yield potential by limiting the number of kernels consumed on each ear. In the study, an average of only one kernel on the SmartStax ears was consumed, while 15.7 kernels on the non-Bt hybrid were consumed (Figure C).

Corn earworm

Like WBCW, CEW also directly impacts yield potential when it feeds on developing kernels. SmartStax has outstanding protection against this insect, allowing an average loss of only 2.5 kernels per ear compared with 17.4 kernels on non-Bt hybrids (Figure D) across 23 locations from 2008 to 2011.

Season-long protection

Dow AgroSciences SmartStax protects corn from insect threats throughout the season — from BCW and FAW early in the season to WBCW and CEW at grain fill.

“The multiple modes of action in SmartStax protect corn from the broadest spectrum of above- and below-ground insects, while preserving trait durability all season long,” Hansen says.

The same insect protection of SmartStax® is available in Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced® powered by SmartStax, a single-bag solution to ensure refuge compliance on the acres where it is planted in the Corn Belt.2 Dow AgroSciences offers SmartStax and Refuge Advanced through its seed companies, including Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Hyland Seeds, Pfister Seeds, Prairie Brand, Renze Seeds and Triumph Seed.

Allyssa Berry