University of Illinois

Bt-Corn for Control of European
and Southwestern Corn Borers

October 9, 1998

John Shaw, research entomologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, and Ron Hines, senior research associate at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, supervised research trials in which several Bt- and non- Bt-corn hybrids were examined for European corn borers (Shaw) and southwestern corn borers (Hines). As of now, most data are in and currently are being analyzed. We will publish the results in a forthcoming issue of this Bulletin. We will have results on KnockOut, NatureGard, YieldGard, Bt-Xtra, and StarLink technologies
for control of corn borers with transgenic corn hybrids. Also forthcoming will be discussions about the effect of current Bt-corn hybrids on other insects, including black cutworms, corn earworms, and stalk borers.

Also, stay tuned for some updates about using non-Bt-corn refuges for managing either European or southwestern corn borers or both. Not surprisingly, there is some disagreement among industry scientists and university scientists about the amount of non-Bt-corn refuge necessary to slow the onset of borer resistance to Bt. Nevertheless, all scientists agree that some non-Bt-corn refuge is necessary. We will do our best to present all sides of the debate so people can make informed decisions based on sound scientific findings.

Author: Kevin Steffey