In an effort supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Felicia Wu, from Michigan State University, a grant for the proposal entitled “An Agent Based Model of Insect Adaptation to Transgenic Insecticidal Corn”.
NCGA believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. This project will develop a model to factors impacting the effectiveness of Bt corn that includes many factors that affect insect adaptation to the Bt proteins in corn, such as farmer behaviors, refuge strategy, insecticide usage, combination of traits used, crop rotation and others. Researchers hope to identify strategies that will achieve the greatest long-term effectiveness of Bt corn.
Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus NCGA continues to work with industry and government on resistance management.
The Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program, a ten-member advisory committee consisting of academics and growers, provides merit-based awards for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management but also address significant challenges and issues in agriculture. NCGA Director of Research and New Uses Dr. Richard Vierling serves on the grant review committee to ensure the projects will develop tools that meet farmers’ needs. The research addresses the following areas: development of predictive models of resistance; farmer education and training; and sustainable pest management. The program originally started in 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program but expanded its focus to include insects that are economically damaging to any U.S. row crop.