(Posted Tue. Aug 11th, 2015)
In an effort supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Jeffrey Gore, from Mississippi State University, a grant for the proposal entitled “Quantifying the Role of Helicoverpa zea Host Plants in Bt Resistance Management.”
NCGA believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. As a major pest impacting corn, cotton and soybeans in the United States, corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, research will benefit farmers across the country. This proposal addresses the role that cultivated and non-cultivated host plants play in the population dynamics of corn earworm. By better understanding how corn earworm utilizes all hosts, scientists can identify best management practices that will ensure the long-term effectiveness of Bt crops and make informed decisions about resistance management.
Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus NCGA continues to work with industry and government on resistance management.
The Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program, a ten-member advisory committee consisting of academics and growers, provides merit-based awards for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management but also address significant challenges and issues in agriculture. NCGA Director of Research and New Uses Dr. Richard Vierling serves on the grant review committee to ensure the projects will develop tools that meet farmers’ needs. The research addresses the following areas: development of predictive models of resistance; farmer education and training; and sustainable pest management. The program originally started in 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program but expanded its focus to include insects that are economically damaging to any U.S. row crop.