Bayer, Corteva To Ramp Up Launch Of New Technology Targeting Corn Rootworm

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Farmers looking to gain the upper hand over corn rootworm (CRW) pests have new tools to deploy in the field, thanks to Ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology.

RNAi works in CRW as it feeds on corn roots by turning off functions the pest needs for development.

Companies including Bayer Crop Science and Corteva Agriscience introduced RNAi in corn hybrids this year. Both organizations plan to ramp up production for broader farmer adoption in 2023.

A TRIPLE THREAT

The first products with RNAi technology to fight CRW were launched commercially this season by Bayer as SmartStax PRO hybrids in the 95- to 115-day maturity range.

The hybrids offer three modes of action (MOAs) for control – two Bt traits Cry3Bb1 and Cry34Ab1/Cry35Ab1 [now reclassified as Gpp34Ab1/Tpp35Ab1] and the new MOA called DvSNf7 dsRNA.

In addition to CRW, Bayer says SmartStax Pro provides protection against above-ground pests including European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, black cutworm and corn earworm.

SIX MODES OF ACTION

Corteva is offering farmers its new Vorceed Enlist corn hybrids, containing a novel RNAi active ingredient to control corn rootworm. Vorceed Enlist is available in a range of 93- to 100-day relative maturity hybrids, according to Tony Klemm, Corteva vice president, corn portfolio.

The hybrids offer three MOAs for both above-ground insect protection and below-ground insect protection (plus tolerance to four herbicide MOAs to help manage resistant weeds, 2,4-D choline, glyphosate, glufosinate and FOP herbicides).

The company reports reduced corn root damage and a 99% reduction in adult beetle emergence, thanks to the layered MOAs.

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