As fall armyworm continues to threaten food security in Africa, the use of Bt maize offers significant potential to manage the pest. But it will be critical to manage resistance via multi-toxin crop varieties and appropriate use of refuge planting—all in forms accessible to the smallholder farmers that grow nearly all of Africa’s maize.
Collaboration and a combination of transgenic cotton and sterile insect releases helped to eradicate the invasive pink bollworm.
A new article in the Journal of Economic Entomology examines varying levels of resistance to Bt toxins developed by the pink bollworm in the United States, China, and India over the last 20 years, illustrating the importance of incorporating refuge crops in Bt systems.
Cotton and corn are threatened by growing resistance in the pest Helicoverpa zea (a.k.a. bollworm or corn earworm) to the insecticidal properties of Bt crops. Two researchers identify contributing factors and identify insecticide resistance management practices that could help slow the problem.
Should growers that use Bt crops plant a separate nearby refuge field of non-insecticidal crops, or use a blended mixture of seeds that produce both in the same field?