Southern growers planting advanced corn technology

A select group of Southern farmers are getting an advance look at Monsanto’s new Genuity VT Triple PRO corn technology this season.

While the new second-generation technology won’t be broadly introduced until 2010, between 100 and 200 farmers across the South are participating this season in a limited commercial demonstration of Genuity VT Triple PRO, which provides the industry’s first-ever dual modes of action for controlling above-ground insects.

The technology offers higher yield potential as well as improved grain quality through superior control of ear-feeding insects, which can result in reduced levels of mycotoxins.

“Genuity VT Triple PRO provides broad-spectrum insect protection against target pests, including corn borer, while adding two previously uncontrolled pests — corn earworm and fall armyworm,” explained Andrew Duff, Corn Traits Marketing Manager for Monsanto. “This next-generation technology sets a new standard for consistency, as well as enhanced durability and reduced potential for insect resistance.”

In addition, because of its dual modes of action, Genuity VT Triple PRO has been approved for a reduction in the refuge requirement for corn borer in the South from 50 percent to 20 percent. This means farmers can protect more of their acres with higher yielding Genuity VT Triple PRO compared with non-Bt corn hybrids.

Duff said farmers participating in the limited commercial demonstration were selected based on their interest in trying new technologies. They will scout their fields this summer for corn earworm, send kernel samples to Monsanto for grain quality analysis and provide yield data at harvest.

Participating farmers are planting small demonstration plots of the new triple-stack technology in DeKalb brand products. In addition to above- and below-ground insect control, the technology also provides the Roundup Ready 2 weed control trait. “We’re suggesting they split their planters between Genuity VT Triple PRO and corn products containing first-generation insect traits in order to evaluate how the technologies perform,” Duff explained.

According to Chism Craig, Monsanto Technology Development Manager, the new product performed well in field trials conducted by Monsanto last season. “We not only saw great protection against the pests that were previously controlled, but we also saw very good ear protection against corn earworm and saw a reduced level of mycotoxins and fewer aflatoxins,” he noted.

South Texas farmer Samuel Sparks participated in Genuity VT Triple PRO test plots in 2008 and is also involved in the 2009 commercial demonstration program. “As a VT Triple PRO grower last year, I’ve seen the benefits of the new technology up close,” Sparks said. “I could immediately see the difference. It produces more yield and we don’t have to worry about insect and weed control as much. Plus, the refuge reduction will benefit everyone. We’re always looking for something new to try that will increase profitability, and I look forward to growing more Genuity VT Triple PRO in the future.”

Another participant, North Carolina farmer Clifton Paul, is also enthusiastic about Genuity VT Triple PRO. “We had a test plot last year and it showed improved yield and insect control compared to competitive products,” said Paul, of Grantsboro, N.C. He added that he likes to be on the forefront of new technology. “It’s not hard to see how it benefits you. It’s the direction the industry is going.”

Ty Parker, Monsanto local field advisor in western Tennessee, is working with a group of his farmer customers who are planting the new technology for the first time. “This is an opportunity for them to get a first-hand look at Genuity VT Triple PRO before it is out in the field on a large scale,” he said. “Participating in the demonstration plots will allow them to see how this technology can be utilized on their farm so they can gain the maximum benefits from it through faster adoption.”

Genuity VT Triple PRO will be introduced across the South for the 2010 growing season.

For additional information about this technology, or Monsanto’s entire Genuity family of traits, visit http://www.genuity.com/.

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