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Traits on the way
Help is on the way, though, says Battles. Corn earworm is one of 14 insects controlled by Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack that debuts this year. Syngenta officials say a multi-pest complex (black cutworm, stalk borer, fall armyworm, western bean cutworm, and corn earworm) damages 238 million bushels of corn annually.
Agrisure Artesian is Syngenta’s new water optimization technology that debuts in 2011. The first phase you’ll see this year uses native traits to help corn plants better manage moisture. “Farmers can relate to those hybrids that conserve water on those tight clay soils,” says Battles. “There is a gene in those hybrids that help them manage water a little better than others.”
Syngenta launched its Aphid Management System in 2010. It uses a multi-pronged aphid control approach that includes the Rag1 gene, the seed treatment Cruiser Maxx Beans, beneficial insects, and if necessary, a foliar insecticide application of Warrior II or Indigo, says Scott Payne, marketing research agronomist for Syngenta.