Syngenta 2008 Trial Results Demonstrate Efficacy of Agrisure Viptera™ Trait

Syngenta Seeds, one of the world’s leading agricultural seeds providers, released detailed performance data from 2008 trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of the new Agrisure Viptera trait. The trials were located in plots that had different levels of natural infestations and a variety of lepidopteran pests, a spectrum of insects Syngenta refers to as the “multi-pest complex.” The results show that using corn hybrids with the Agrisure Viptera trait provided broad-spectrum control of the multi-pest complex, thereby increasing yield.

Replicated trials in 12 locations across Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and North Carolina demonstrated an average yield advantage of 10.9 bu/A for Agrisure® CB/LL/RW hybrids stacked with the Agrisure Viptera trait when compared with hybrids containing only the Agrisure CB/LL/RW stack in environments that represent all levels of corn earworm pressures.

Trials demonstrated that the yield advantage rose to 17.5 bu/A in plots where corn earworm pressure was present at moderate to high levels2. According to Bruce Battles, Syngenta Seeds agronomy marketing manager, growers see some level of corn earworm pressure every year, but infestations are random and scouting is difficult, which makes it important to have insect protection built into the seed.

All Syngenta strip trial comparisons are completed with hybrids of similar RMs, adjusted for moisture to +/- 3 points and of equivalent trait classes unless otherwise noted. Isolines used for comparison featured identical genetics to the test hybrids but did not contain the Agrisure Viptera trait.

Replicated trials consisted of 12 locations, with six replications per location. Results were averaged across all 12 locations. Replicated trials were located in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and North Carolina.

Replicated trials consisted of seven locations with six replications per location. Results were averaged across all seven locations. Replicated trials were located in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina.

“Our trials mimic the situations corn growers typically face. To maximize yield, growers need to protect against a broad range of unpredictable corn pests. That’s the importance of having broad-spectrum lepidopteran control,” said Battles. “Growers need to have a tool that allows the management of damage from a range of lepidopteran corn pests, including corn earworm, black cutworm and Western bean cutworm.”

Realizing that yield is only one component; trials also measured ear damage from naturally occurring pests such as corn earworm. The results show that the Agrisure Viptera trait significantly reduced the number of ears damaged as well as the amount of damage per ear. In 2008 trials, 55 percent of the plants with the Agrisure CB/LL/RW trait had some grain damage, as compared to only 3 percent when the Agrisure Viptera trait was added into the trait combination. “By reducing the amount of damaged grain from insect pressure, we not only increase yield, but also greatly reduce the likelihood of mycotoxin development. In some years economic losses from mycotoxins could be greater than that from lost yield potential,” Battles said.

Pending all remaining regulatory and key import market approvals, hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera trait are anticipated to be available for planting in spring 2010. The trait will be available stacked with either the Agrisure® 3000GT triple stack or the Agrisure GT/CB/LL stack.

Agrisure Corn Traits are a system of high-performance in-seed traits providing resistance to European corn borer (the Agrisure CB/LL trait) and corn rootworm (the Agrisure RW trait) and conferring tolerance to glyphosate herbicides (the Agrisure GT trait) and glufosinate herbicides (the Agrisure CB/LL trait). Growers seeking a triple stack of all current Agrisure insect protection and herbicide tolerance offerings can get full corn borer and rootworm protection combined with weed control flexibility in the Agrisure 3000GT trait stack.

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