Black and Dingy Cutworm Infestations Mark the Arrival of the Multi-Pest Complex

MINNETONKA, MINN. — June 3, 2010 — The first signs of possible black cutworm and dingy cutworm infestations are being seen throughout the Corn Belt, with Syngenta agronomist moth traps reporting significant captures of black cutworm in Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. Moth traps help identify geographies that are at a higher risk of yield loss due to possible insect infestation, so growers are urged to scout fields now to determine if treatments are needed to avoid yield-crippling stand damage.

“Growers in most areas have been pretty fortunate this season in that the weather has allowed for uncharacteristically early planting. Generally, early tillage and planting of corn minimizes the risk of cutworm infestation,” said Bruce Battles, agronomy marketing manager, Syngenta Seeds. “Unfortunately, growers can’t rely on such favorable conditions each season. With Agrisure Viptera 3111, growers will be better able to manage these pests without worrying about costly spraying and scouting.”

Black cutworm can cause substantial damage to growers' yield potential if not controlled early in the growing season. While dingy cutworm feeding is generally limited to leaves, it can also cut seedlings and excessive infestation can limit yield. The Agrisure Viptera trait is the only corn trait currently labeled for dingy cutworm. Due to the infestation potential this year, Battles recommends growers continue scouting for black cutworm and dingy cutworm until Agrisure Viptera is publicly available.

Once the remaining key import market approvals are received, growers will have the option of planting seed with the new Agrisure Viptera™ 3111 trait stack to protect against black and dingy cutworm damage without scouting. The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack maximizes yield potential by delivering unsurpassed, in-seed control of 14 yield- and quality-robbing insects, including these two early-season pests.

Beginning with black cutworm and dingy cutworm, the other members of the multi-pest complex – corn earworm, Western bean cutworm, fall armyworm, common stalk borer and sugarcane borer – can cause significant economic losses due to their erratic infestation patterns, abundant numbers and the destruction they can cause throughout the growing season. The Agrisure Viptera™ trait, which powers the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack, has the power to combat these pests and help U.S. corn growers recoup an estimated 238 million bushels of corn and $1.1 billion in annual yield and grain quality losses due to multi-pest complex damage¹.

Corn hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera trait will be available for planting following receipt of key import market approvals. Growers in selected areas will have the opportunity to view hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait in action at Syngenta field trials in summer 2010.

The Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack will be available in hybrids from the Syngenta seed brands of Garst®, Golden Harvest® and NK® seeds, as well as more than 150 locally owned independent seed companies. For more information about the Agrisure Viptera trait and the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack, visit