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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VIDEO BLOG: Strategies to Insure Farmer Productivity with Corn Rootworm Control

We generally look at three components for farmers to succeed with Monsanto products – agronomics, breeding and biotechnology. We work closely with agronomists at the state level across the country and have focal regions for each crop. And we share this information in a variety of ways, including our Technology Use Guide as we provide the best agronomic management practices to obtain the greatest yield and sustainably manage insect pests.

For the Corn Belt, there are great resources for us to work with in developing the best agronomic recommendations to accompany our corn products. In addition to work conducted by our own agronomists and entomologists, we are working with academics at universities in key corn-growing states. In some cases, we are working directly with growers on the individual field or farm level. This broad approach to developing agronomic recommendations is an important part of helping farmers manage challenging situations on farm, as well as ensuring the durability and stewardship of our trait technologies.

This week, we announced steps we are taking to ensure best management practices are implemented in 2012 for fields that were planted with our single mode-of-action corn hybrids that contain western corn rootworm protection and that were affected by significant corn rootworm pressure during the 2011 season.

Ty Vaughn, our U.S. corn product management lead, discusses several of the strategies that we’ve developed to ensure farmers’ productivity is optimized in the video on this blog saying:

Hi, I’m Ty Vaughn, the U.S. Corn Product Management Lead for Monsanto.

I want to talk to you a little bit about corn rootworm pressure this year. Every year, growers face a new set of environmental conditions as they optimize production on their farms. You add in high corn rootworm populations in some geographies, and a small number of growers faced challenges with their single mode of action corn technologies in 2011.

For 2012, Monsanto has developed several strategies to ensure farmers’ productivity is optimized:

  • First, we are recommending that growers move to Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete, our two mode-of-action product. This product does a couple of things: it provides the yield that growers have come to expect; it simplifies refuge management through Refuge in a Bag solutions; it provides better insect control and ultimately, longer durability of our technology.
  • Another option for growers is to plant Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans or another crop in order to break the insect population cycle in these local areas.
  • Third, we appreciate some growers will have limited options and will plant single mode-of-action products because of their exceptional performance. For these small groups of farmers that have high corn rootworm populations in corn-on-corn systems, we are working to provide additional local agronomic solutions. These include foliar- and soil-applied insecticides and assistance in implementing these solutions.
  • Finally, we will be following up with growers throughout the year to ensure they realize the performance they’ve come to expect from all of our products.

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