Biotech Sweet Corn Varieties Deliver Sustainable Benefits to Growers

D. Stuart 8/8/2011

This fall, U.S. growers will have the opportunity to plant new biotech sweet corn varieties for the fresh market. These products have the potential to create sustainable improvements in sweet corn farming through the better use of resources and less reliance on chemical pesticides.

Although biotech sweet corn with Bt technology has been on the market since 1998, this is a new product for Monsanto and our vegetable seed brand, Seminis®.

Environmental Benefits

Seminis® Performance Series™ sweet corn provides excellent protection against damage by European corn borers, corn earworms, fall army worms and corn rootworm larvae, as well as resistance to Roundup agricultural herbicides for weed control.

The Bt trait will help growers control insects and reduce insecticide sprays up to 85%, when compared with non-Bt sweet corn products. Sweet corn makes up one percent of total corn acreage in the U.S. (field corn and sweet corn), yet accounts for 40% of all corn insecticidal treatments. 

In addition, fewer tractor trips across the field helps farmers save fuel, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and decrease the carbon footprint per ear of corn grown.

Product Safety

Monsanto has completed a food safety consultation with the FDA confirming that biotech corn, including sweet corn, is as safe as conventional corn.  The safety of our customers, consumers and the environment are our highest priorities.

To date, there have been no substantiated claims of harm or illness to humans or animals as a result of consuming biotech crops. Biotech crops have been on the market for years, and biotech sweet corn has been available for more than a decade. In 2010 alone, 15.4 million growers in 29 countries grew 12 different biotech crops on 365 million acres.

To learn more about how biotechnology products are developed and tested, check out the following sections of

IMPORTANT: Produce Marketing: Performance Series™ Sweet Corn has received the necessary biotech approvals in the United States and Canada; however, approval has not been received in all major sweet corn export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Until all approvals in major export markets are in place, Performance Series Sweet Corn seed will only be available to licensed commercial growers who agree to the marketing stewardship requirements. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Consult with your seed representative for current regulatory and stewardship information status.
Herbicide Information for Performance Series™ Sweet Corn: Make sure the intended use is approved in your state. Do not use this information as the basis for any glyphosate product other than Roundup® branded agricultural herbicides. You must have the supplemental labeling for use on Performance Series™ Sweet Corn containing Roundup Ready® 2 Ttechnology and the product label with you when making the application.
Performance Series™ Sweet Corn IRM – Post-Harvest Requirements: Crop destruction must occur no later than 30 days following harvest, but preferably within 14 days. The allowed crop destruction methods are: rotary mowing, discing, or plow-down. Crop destruction methods should destroy any surviving resistant insects.
B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your Monsanto representative for the registration status in your state.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® crops contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Performance Series™, Roundup Ready®, and Roundup® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. ©2011 Monsanto Company.