Monsanto Company has pledged an additional $3 million to support academic research on corn rootworm. With this funding, the Corn Rootworm (CRW) Knowledge Research Program, which started in early 2013, extends the program to 2016.

The program provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per year (for up to three years) for outstanding research projects that address a number of corn rootworm-related topics, including the economics of corn rootworm management, the development of predictive models, the characterization of resistance, and the development of broad survey methods.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that the damage caused by corn rootworm, and the costs associated with controlling it, typically total $1 billion annually - including approximately $800 million in yield loss and $200 million in treatment expenses.

"The extension of this program will further increase the intense research efforts by our best public sector researchers on this challenging and damaging pest," said program co-chair Dr. Steve Pueppke, Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University. "This research will ensure better management practices that will be effective and sustainable for the benefit of corn producers."

The CRW Knowledge Research Program is guided by a 10-person Advisory Committee that is co-chaired by Dr. Pueppke and Dr. Dusty Post, Monsanto's Global Insect Management Lead. Additional committee members include experts from academia and agricultural organizations, and were selected based on their expertise in corn rootworm biology and insect management practices.

"By working collaboratively to increase our collective understanding of corn rootworm biology and pest management, we can combat this challenging pest, while providing economical, practical and sustainable solutions for farmers," said Post.

Researchers may submit proposals in a number of CRW areas, including the economics of managing CRW under current farming systems; the development, refinement and validation of predictive models; the characterization of CRW resistance to effective control methods; the development of broad survey methods; and the development of educational tools around corn rootworm management.

Applicants and other interested parties should visit http://www.Monsanto.com/CRWknowledge for additional information, key dates and instructions on how to apply.