Monsanto Reinforces Commitment to Product Stewardship with Proactive Plan to Address Corn Rootworm Hot Spots


Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today announced it is taking steps to ensure best management practices are implemented for fields that were planted with the company’s single-mode-of-action corn hybrids that contain western corn rootworm protection and that were affected by significant corn rootworm pressure during the 2011 season.

Farmers who continuously plant corn-on-corn with single-mode-of-action products have routinely faced pressure from high populations of rootworms for years, even prior to the introduction of insect-protection trait technologies.  Today, there are geographical pockets of heavy rootworm infestation in areas where there’s a long history of corn-on-corn plantings.  In these areas, some farmers that use single mode of action approaches – either a soil-applied insecticide or trait technology – have seen that high rootworm populations can overwhelm the plants, leading to damage and some surviving insects.

Monsanto recommends for the 2012 planting season that fields that were planted with YieldGard® VT Triple® or Genuity® VT Triple PRO® hybrids and experienced greater than expected corn rootworm damage during the 2011 season, follow these best management practices, including:

  • Switching to dual-mode-of-action Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ corn to manage and protect against insects on the affected field specifically.  SmartStax® corn is the only product on the market to offer dual modes of action for above- and below-ground insect protection, or
  • Rotating to Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans or another crop if soybeans are not a suitable recommendation for that specific geography.
  • Beyond these field-specific recommendations, we are also providing tailored local agronomic recommendations in combination with a soil or foliar applied insecticide for any fields planted to a single-mode-of-action technology in areas where high populations of rootworms were present during the 2011 season but where greater than expected corn rootworm damage was not experienced.
  • Monsanto agronomists and dealers will work with each affected farmer to implement the appropriate management practices for impacted fields and make recommendations for their entire farm.  In addition third-party representatives will work with Monsanto seed dealers to educate and reinforce the recommendation of best management practices for corn rootworm control.

“In addition to Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete, Monsanto’s YieldGard VT Triple and Genuity VT Triple PRO corn rootworm products are exceptional technologies that are delivering strong insect protection against corn rootworms and higher yield potential than competitive single mode of action rootworm-protected trait offerings,” said Ty Vaughn, corn product lead at Monsanto. “We’re committed to providing farmers with the best management practices to ensure we can both work to support the long-term durability of these products.”

“The actions we announced today and adoption of these practices by farmers will help ensure that these technologies remain an important tool that protects farm productivity for years to come,” Vaughn said.

Since hybrids with western corn rootworm protection were first introduced in 2003, Monsanto has been providing recommendations to farmers to ensure the long-term viability of single mode-of-action technologies and their benefits.

The company said that it continues to take reports on the performance of its products seriously and remains committed to working with farmers that choose to plant continuous corn-on-corn to ensure they understand the importance of integrated pest management practices when managing high insect populations on farm. Today, the company noted that it has seen greater than expected damage on less than 0.14 percent out of the estimated 37 million acres that were planted to Monsanto’s corn rootworm technologies in 2011.

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