Growers looking for durable corn seed traits

The growth of Bt resistant corn rootworm in the U.S. and now Ontario has many growers asking if the traits they purchase to defend their corn crop will stand up against the pest.

It’s a question Dan Wright and other seed industry executives are hearing more often these days. But Wright, Syngenta Canada’s head of seeds, believes the industry will take required stewardship initiatives to protect the durability of corn traits and ensure the technology can stand up against the evolving pests they’re designed to fight.

Speaking to RealAgriculture after a presentation at Syngenta’s annual media summit, Wright says he’s confident Syngenta’s Agrisure Duracade rootworm trait is well positioned to manage the threat of Bt resistant corn rootworm, which has been confirmed in several fields in Huron, Perth, and Durham Counties in Ontario. (Check out the full report on the Corn School).

Wright notes that the Duracade product, which expresses the eCry3 1Ab protein, offers a different mode of action than other products, but it will be important for industry, academics, and growers to work together to mitigate the resistance threat.

In this interview with RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, Wright offers insights into what growers can expect from Syngenta and its NK Brand in the future. Syngenta spends $1.3 billion annually on global product research and development and is committed to offering a strong lineup of both traits and genetics, Wright says.

Wright believes the top performance measure grower are seeking when they buy seed is consistency. “It’s not getting easier… we’re seeing bigger weather fluctuations, larger and longer drought spells, and more moisture surges,” he says. When farmers buy something, they want to know it works, adds Wright. He says changing growing conditions from year to year is increasing the need for multi-year and multi-environment testing and this will be a strong focus for Syngenta in the future.

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