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.
A survey of corn farmers in Iowa shows which insect pests are of most concern and that most are not seeing failures in management methods such as Bt crops. But they do look to IPM and extension agents for guidance in managing insecticide resistance.
A study on European corn borer in conventional and organic growing systems finds an "unintentional attract-and-kill" mechanism whereby borers are attracted to corn in conventionally managed fields but then fall victim to Bt corn there.
A new study finds that three corn varieties bred for drought resistance also stand up better to the Banks grass mite when drought conditions set in—a potential boon to growers in regions with diminishing water supply.
Tar spot is an emerging foliar fungal disease of corn that can reduce crop yield. Incidence and discovery of this disease greatly increased in 2018 and 2019 thanks to a coordinated, multi-state effort that relied heavily on social media and electronic disease mapping.