Farmers make decisions every day to be successful in the farming business. By fine-tuning product selections and rotations, farmers have effectively changed behaviors to adopt the best agronomic practices for their farms.
Our recommended best management practices (BMPs) contribute to farmer success, choice and the long-term durability of corn trait technologies. Detailed results of our assessments of the 2014 BMPs in those fields where farmers reported unexpected damage to us in 2013 are available by geography:
Overall, the data overwhelmingly demonstrated that farmers can easily and practically manage field-localized cases of increased tolerance through both proactive and reactive measures. For example:
- Root damage scores were consistently low – which means the scores were usually below the level that results in decreased yield or has a negative economic impact for growers.
- Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ corn performed very well, which is consistent with scientific mathematical modeling that supports the durability and use of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete in fields that have previously experienced greater-than-expected corn rootworm damage.
- BMPs effectively controlled the corn rootworm population within the affected fields without indication that the population was spreading.
- We saw a significant decrease in performance inquiries in 2014 compared to the past three years. These performance inquiries continued to be clearly isolated and represented less than 0.2 percent of the acres that were planted to Monsanto's corn rootworm technology in 2013.
2014 Grower Adoption of BMPs
Monsanto agronomists and dealers worked with each farmer who had a performance inquiry in 2011 to identify the appropriate BMPs for each affected field. These farmers overwhelmingly adopted the 2014 BMPs to manage corn rootworm in these fields; and throughout the summer, our Technology and Agronomy teams evaluated the performance of these fields to understand the effectiveness of each BMP.
The chart pictured here highlights that more than two-thirds of the growers with a 2013 performance inquiry adopted a soybean rotation or a Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete hybrid. For the fields that rotated to soybeans, the agronomic benefits included not only eliminating the high corn rootworm density, but also augmenting soil fertility and reducing residue build up, among others. In the fields where Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn hybrids were planted, we continued to see the technology demonstrating excellent control of corn rootworm.