New 2011 data from university field trials reinforce that Dow AgroSciences' SmartStax continues to provide effective control of corn rootworm (CRW). The company is trying to set itself apart from farmer concerns about failed CRW-control by some single-trait Bt hybrids sold by various seed companies in 2011.

Data from 31 trials conducted over five years show that SmartStax protects corn from CRW more effectively than hybrids with single-mode-of-action traits and non-Bt hybrids. Dow AgroSciences' SmartStax also shows a yield advantage under moderate to heavy insect pressure, the company announced.

The 2011 data shows the multiple-mode of action control the SmartStax trait package provides continued to protect against corn rootworms and continued to effectively control insects to keep damage from reaching economic thresholds, according to Cole Hansen, traits marketing manager, Dow AgroSciences. He suggests targeting CRW with multiple modes of action improves control and helps fight insect resistance by targeting key insects at two areas of their midgut.

The big attention this fall has been toward Monsanto and its seed partners that offered single-trait control of CRW. There have been a few high-profile control failures related to the single-trait hybrids.

Five years of data, including new 2011 data, shows Dow AgroSciences SmartStax hybrids has kept CRW damage below 0.25 on the Iowa State University node injury scale of 0 to 3 under moderate to heavy corn rootworm pressure. The company has other university and internal field data that show similar results..

“Yield loss can occur when node ratings are 0.25 or greater, and lodging is possible at ratings of 1.0 or greater,” explained Dwain Rule, biology team leader, Dow AgroSciences.

“Even in the absence of other pests, corn rootworm can devastate the yield potential of a field,” Rule said. “SmartStax provides two modes of action to fight against corn rootworm, protecting yield and a grower’s bottom line.”