The Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Tom Coudron, Ph.D., from the USDA-ARS in Columbia, Mo., a grant for the proposal entitled “Entomopathogenic Nematodes (ENP) as Part of Corn Rootworm Resistance Management.”
The National Corn Growers Association believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. This research could develop additional management tools for corn rootworm control by incorporating parasitic nematodes that will specifically target rootworms causing damage to Bt corn as well as non-GMO corn. ENPs have proven valuable in mitigating western corn rootworm damage by reducing the number of surviving root worms. Success of this approach will be dependent on the proper combination of hybrid and ENP.
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.