Navigation Links
New study shows benefits of Bt corn to farmers
Date:10/7/2010

A group of agricultural scientists reported in today's issue of the journal Science that corn that has been genetically engineered to produce insect-killing proteins isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provides significant economic benefits even to neighboring farmers who grow non-transgenic varieties of corn.

"Modern agricultural science is playing a critical role in addressing many of the toughest issues facing American agriculture today, including pest management and productivity," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This study provides important information about the benefits of biotechnology by directly examining how area-wide suppression of corn borers using Bt corn can improve yield and grain quality even of non-Bt varieties."

The researchers estimate that farmers in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin received cumulative economic benefits of nearly $7 billion between 1996-2009, with benefits of more than $4 billion for non-Bt corn farmers alone. The scientists estimated that in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, borer populations in adjacent non-Bt fields declined by 28 to 73 percent, with similar reductions recorded in Iowa and Nebraska.

The researchers attribute the collateral benefits enjoyed by non-Bt farmers to areawide suppression of corn borers stemming from long-term plantings of Bt-protected crops. Potato, green bean and other host crops also stand to benefit from areawide reductions of corn borers, the researchers note. The team's Science report also highlights the importance of the use of refuge cropsthe planting of non-Bt crops adjacent to fields of Bt crops, providing a refuge to which the pests can retreatand other strategies to slow the corn borer's ability to develop resistance to Bt and thus maintain the insecticidal proteins' long-term effectiveness.

The Bt proteins provide the plant with a built-in defense against attacks by the larvae of European corn borers and other insect pests. Larvae that ingest the protein soon stop feeding and die, typically within 48 hours. In addition to reducing the use of insecticides that also can endanger beneficial insects, the Bt defense strategy helps prevent harmful molds from gaining entry to the plants via wound sites from borer feeding. Some of these molds, like Fusarium, produce mycotoxins that can diminish the value and safety of the crop's kernels.

Bt corn debuted in 1996, and by 2009 was planted on nearly 55 million acres in the United States, accounting for nearly 63 percent of the total U.S. corn crop of 87 million acres. But no research groups had previously investigated the long-term impact of such plantings on corn borer populations on a regional scale, nor had there been any assessment of whether the use of the crop provided any sort of collateral benefit to adjacent or nearby fields of non-Bt crops.

The team was led by William Hutchison of the University of Minnesota and included Rick Hellmich, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist at the Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit operated at Ames, Iowa, by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency. The team gathered 14 years' worth of corn borer population data from Bt corn plantings and combined it with national corn production figures, including yields, prices and acreage planted.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jan Suszkiw
Jan.Suszkiw@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1630
United States Department of Agriculture -- Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Long-term study shows effect of climate change on animal diversity
2. £2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes
3. New study looks to define evangelicals and how they affect polling
4. CU-Boulder study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants
5. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
6. Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
7. Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
8. Study: urban black bears live fast, die young
9. New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
10. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
11. Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/20/2017)... ALLENTOWN, Pa. , March 20, 2017 ... PD 2.0 personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a ... Company with a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions ... of life. With that intent focus, PMD developed the ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... Matching enables to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. ... Systems) ... the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... VIEW, Calif. , March 9, 2017 ... 23andMe , the leading personal genetics company, are using ... now provide customers with personalized nutrition plans that consider ... but also genetic markers impacting how their body may ... food decision support platform uses biometrics such as Body ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/16/2017)... Telehealth has long been a standalone ... has been kept completely separate from discussions about ...   Logicalis Healthcare Solutions , the healthcare-focused arm ... managed services provider ( www.us.logicalis.com ), there is ... between telehealth, imaging, and EHR optimization that healthcare ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... ... ... On Tuesday, May 23 at 10:30 AM, James Sherley, Director of Asymmetrex ... that his company has recently achieved in collaboration with its partner, AlphaSTAR Corporation ... first partnering conference, Cell & Gene Exchange 2017 . In addition to ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... 15, 2017 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading global ... health products, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Therachon AG, ... clinical development of TA-46, a novel protein addressing achondroplasia, which is the most ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... ... May 15, 2017 , ... Continuing to build off ... has today launched its first-ever cross-medium campaign, #StandFirm, with high-visibility social and digital ... social media channels, emphasizing Algenist’s stance on individuality and disruption: , We ...
Breaking Biology Technology: