Extension entomologists in the Great Lakes Region have written an open letter to seed companies on their promotion of the Cry1F trait’s ability to control western bean cutworm in corn.
According to entomologists from Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Cornell and Purdue universities, brochures from multiple seed companies have included western bean cutworm as one of the pests that the Cry1F Bt trait controls. But in the last few years, there’s been growing evidence that the trait is not performing as expected.
“Through the month of September, extension entomologists in the Great Lakes region fielded numerous phone calls and emails, and visited Cry1F fields with unacceptable levels of damage,” says Michigan State field crops entomologist Christina DiFonzo, noting that rescue insecticide treatments occurred too late, inevitably causing yield loss.
In their letter to the seed industry, the entomologists encourage the reclassification of Cry1F in hybrid fact sheets, technical use agreements and other education material, noting that they will be updating their material in their own literature.