On going experimental field trials of genetically modified (GM) corn Genuity SmartStax has raised hopes for Midwest US corn farmers to combat earworm. The trial which involves a comparison of corn hybrids without in-plant earworm protection and the biotech corn was conducted in a trial plot with severe earworm pressure in the eastern part of Kansas.
The biotech corn Genuity SmartStax which carries traits for earworm protection as well as two herbicide-tolerance traits for improved weed control performed better and has less incidence of secondary infection by corn ear diseases. In addition, Chism Craig, Monsanto Technology Development representative, observed that when corn is planted late, it is more vulnerable to earworm migration from the South. This trial showed that the biotech corn withstood the heavy insect pressure brought by late planting.
The biotech corn is scheduled to be introduced in 2010 on 3 to 4 million acres in the USA.
See the press release for more details at http://monsanto.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=755