About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Corn Rootworm Traits and Performance Questions

Recent headlines have questioned the performance of Monsanto’s corn rootworm-protected technologies in some areas of the U.S. Corn Belt.

Importantly, Monsanto’s portfolio of corn-rootworm products continue to demonstrate an outstanding level of performance and grower satisfaction across tens of millions of acres. Field monitoring of these products, which Monsanto has conducted since these products were first introduced last decade, demonstrate that corn rootworm-protected hybrids deliver superior performance on greater than 99 percent of all acres planted to the technology in the United States.

Recent headlines unfortunately overlook the reality that farmers have routinely faced areas with high populations of rootworms for years, even prior to the introduction of insect-protection trait technologies. Today, there are geographical pockets of heavy rootworm infestation in areas where there’s a long history of corn-on-corn plantings. In these areas farmers see intense rootworm pressure that can overwhelm the plants, leading to damage and some surviving insects. This is not something that is specific to any commercial product category – either soil-insecticides or trait offerings – and farmers in these areas work to effectively manage this problem in their fields every year.

As a business, we take all performance claims of our products seriously and we actively work with farmers that report these incidents to better understand what they are seeing and provide them with recommendations for their farm. Monsanto has not seen resistance develop to its rootworm-traited products in the field.

We track these inquiries every year – and they average about 100 inquiries out of literally hundreds of thousands of farmers using our traited products. Most importantly, we’ve not seen these performance claims grow in either number or in geographic spread. We continue to work closely with farmers and academics on these reported inquiries. We also advise farmers in these geographies to follow integrated pest management practices and of their obligation to comply with the EPA-mandated IRM plans to ensure the longevity and durability of these technologies.

For more information on the corn rootworm pest and its management, please visit Monsanto’s corporate web site.

1 Responses to "Corn Rootworm Traits and Performance Questions"

  1. Gassman at Iowa State University washed off the seed treatments to test your trait. You have 3 patents that discuss the fact that your trait does not perform as well a granular treatments without the seed treatment. Plus he claimed that a 52% survial of beetles compared to a check proved resitance. You only ever claimed a 16% to 60% survival rate. The information he presented as proving resistance has been available on the internet since 2005.

    The only thing I can figure is you want to sell SmartStax and refuge in a bag instead of Triple. I am no fan of Monsanto. But I hate to see anyone rollover for what I consider an unfair evaluation.

    Reply

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