Corn variety controls earworm

Trial plots of Monsanto’s new Genuity VT Triple PRO corn showed improved insect control and higher yields in 2009 in Texas.

The corn was especially impressive against the corn earworm compared with first-generation insect trait technologies. More than 400 farmers across the South, including Texas, planted demonstration plots of Genuity VT Triple PRO corn in 2009.

Key Points

• The corn earworm is difficult to stop with insecticides.

• Texas farmer got greater yields from Genuity VT Triple PRO corn.

• The variety has first dual modes of action against aboveground insects.


The corn offers the first-ever dual modes of action for protecting against aboveground insects. Its broad spectrum of protection includes the previously uncontrolled corn earworm, which can significantly reduce yield potential and grain quality by feeding on corn ears.

Worked for Texas grower

John Wilde, a diversified farmer in Tom Green County, Texas, is widely known for top yields in his crop production with sons Doug and Matthew.

Wilde tried about 55 acres of the new corn technology on his farm at San Angelo.

“My Genuity VT Triple PRO provided a 5- to 10 bushel-per-acre yield advantage over the comparison hybrids,” Wilde reports.

The 2009 results impressed Wilde, who says he definitely plans to try more of the corn in 2010 in the Concho Valley.

Beyond yields, he notes the new technology also meant better quality corn for him in 2009. Wilde says he experienced moderate earworm pressure on his farm for the season.

“Less insect damage translated into no aflatoxin in my Genuity Triple PRO corn,” Wilde reports. “But I did have this problem in my other corn.”

The menacing earworm is extremely difficult to control with traditional insecticides due to cost and also the challenge of properly timing application sprays.

Once farmers see injury on their corn ears, it typically is too late for an effective control.

Research shows that for every three corn kernels damaged per ear, farmers can lose a bushel per acre.

Full launch in 2010

Genuity VT Triple PRO corn is planned for a full launch in 2010, Monsanto says.

Because of its dual modes of action, the technology is approved for a significant reduction in the refuge requirement in the South from 50% to 20%.

This means farmers can protect more of their acres with the new, higher-yielding technology compared with non-Bt hybrids and experience improved grain quality.

In addition to above- and belowground insect control, Genuity VT Triple PRO also provides the Roundup Ready 2 herbicide-tolerance trait to support flexible, dependable weed control.

You can learn more online by visiting the Web site www.genuity.com.

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HEALTHY CORN: A Genuity VT Triple PRO corn ear (left) shows healthy kernels compared to a corn hybrid without earworm control (right) that has significant ear damage.

This article published in the January, 2010 edition of THE FARMER-STOCKMAN.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2010.