Monsanto Company has pledged up to $3 million dollars to support academic research on corn rootworm. The Corn Rootworm (CRW) Knowledge Research Program will provide merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per year for up to three years for outstanding research projects that address specific aspects of corn rootworm biology, genomics and management issues.

Corn rootworm is one of the most damaging pests on the farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that the damage caused by the pest and costs associated with controlling it typically total $1 billion annually – including approximately $800 million in yield loss and $200 million in treatment expenses.

The CRW Knowledge Research Program is guided by a 10-person Advisory Committee that is co-chaired by Steve Pueppke, Ph.D., associate vice president for research and graduate studies and AgBioResearch director at Michigan State University, and Dusty Post, Ph.D., 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.

"This program will focus the efforts of our best public sector researchers on one of the most damaging pests of corn, in the process ensuring that management practices will be effective and sustainable for the benefit of corn producers," said Pueppke.

"We encourage researchers to submit their proposals on corn rootworm," said Post. "We believe it is critical to work together to build upon and expand on corn rootworm research to combat this challenging pest. By working collaboratively we can enhance the collective understanding of corn rootworm while providing economical, practical and sustainable solutions for farmers."

Researchers may submit proposals in the areas of corn crop rootworm management; economic impacts of agronomic practices, including control of corn rootworm; corn rootworm biology, physiology, biochemistry and genomics; and corn rootworm education development. Other types of research may also be considered.

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