Common Corn Pest Presents Major Challenge to Bt Crops

fall armyworm

By Andrew Porterfield The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a major corn pest in South America, known to devour corn crops from Argentina to the Southeastern United States. Farmers have typically battled the worm’s infestation with chemical insecticides, but they have been met (unsurprisingly) with resistant insects. Transgenic corn raised to express Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) […]

How Climate Change May Accelerate Corn Earworm’s Resistance to Bt Crops

corn earworm larvae

Add “crop pests developing resistance to control methods faster” to the list concerning potential effects of global warming. Entomologists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the University of Maryland have collaborated on an analysis of two decades’ worth of agricultural and pest management data from the state of Maryland to explore the interplay of […]

Study Finds Many Bt Corn Growers Aren’t Planting Refuge Crops

european corn borer

By Josh Lancette A new study from North Carolina found that corn growers in the state are not planting as much refuge crop as needed, potentially leading to increased insect resistance to Bt corn. Published in March in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, the study also found that current methods for extension professionals to […]

Bt-resistant Insects not Likely to Be a Problem for Maize Farmers

Dominic Reisig, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, received a phone call in 2013 from a farmer who was having trouble with fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda), an insect pest that costs farmers in the southeastern United States tens of millions of dollars each year. This seemed odd because the farmer had planted Bt corn, […]

Insect-resistant Maize Could Increase Yields and Decrease Pesticide Use in Mexico

Este comunicado está disponible en español. Although maize was originally domesticated in Mexico, the country’s average yield per hectare is 38% below the world’s average. In fact, Mexico imports 30% of its maize from foreign sources to keep up with internal demand. To combat insect pests, Mexican farmers rely primarily on chemical insecticides. Approximately 3,000 […]