Corn growers now have access to the broadest-spectrum in-plant insect protection in the marketplace with the federal registration of Herculex XTRA Insect Protection. Dow AgroSciences LLC and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., the trait's developers, have received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Herculex XTRA Insect Protection. This action gives the companies the ability to offer this trait in corn hybrids to U.S. growers for 2006 planting.

Herculex XTRA contains both the Herculex I Insect Protection and Herculex RW Rootworm Protection traits. Herculex I protects the corn plant against European and southwestern corn borer, western bean cutworm, black cutworm and fall armyworm and Herculex RW protects the plant against western, northern and Mexican corn rootworm.

This means that Herculex XTRA guards against a broader range of insects than other competitive products now available to growers. Also, the corn rootworm trait provides excellent root protection and dramatically reduces adult rootworm emergence.

“Coming on the heels of the registration of Herculex RW, this marks another significant advancement in growers' ability to protect their seed investment,” says Dean Oestreich, president of Pioneer.

“Herculex XTRA offers the most complete defense against damaging insects available to growers today and gives producers another valuable tool to help increase corn yields and enhance grain quality.”

“As with each member of the family of Herculex Insect Protection traits, Herculex XTRA gives corn growers new options and increased flexibility,” says Stan Howell, vice president, North America at Dow AgroSciences.

“And Herculex XTRA will protect against more insect pests than any other product available, providing growers greater yield protection and convenience.”

The Herculex XTRA traits will be available in hybrids from Pioneer, Mycogen Seeds and Beck's Superior Hybrids, Inc. Each company will determine which seed corn hybrids will contain the Herculex XTRA traits and when these hybrids will be introduced into the marketplace.

All Herculex traits, including Herculex XTRA, have LibertyLink technology, providing tolerance to Liberty herbicide which controls more than 100 grass and broadleaf weed species on contact.

Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer are seeking grain import approvals for Japan and other key export markets. Pending regulatory approval in all major world markets, grain from hybrids with the Herculex XTRA traits will be subject to market-channeling and export restrictions.