Monsanto, MSU Extend Support Of Corn Rootworm Program

Michigan State University and the Monsanto Co. are collaborating to support research on corn rootworm, one of the most damaging agricultural pests in the U.S.

Monsanto has pledged an additional $3 million to support academic research on corn rootworm. This funding extends the Corn Rootworm (CRW) Knowledge Research Program, which started early this year, to 2016.

The program provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per year for up to three years for outstanding research projects that address corn rootworm-related topics.

The USDA has estimated that the damage caused by corn rootworm and the costs associated with controlling it typically total $1 billion annually — approximately $800 million in yield loss and $200 million in treatment expenses.

“The extension of this program will further increase the intense research efforts by our best public sector researchers on this challenging and damaging pest,” said program co-chair Steve Pueppke, associate vice president for research and graduate studies at MSU. “This research will ensure better management practices that will be effective and sustainable for the benefit of corn producers.”

The CRW Knowledge Research Program is guided by a 10-person advisory committee co-chaired by Pueppke and Dusty Post, Monsanto’s global insect management lead. Additional committee members include experts from academia and agricultural organizations, who were selected because of their expertise in corn rootworm biology and insect management practices.

“By working collaboratively to increase our collective understanding of corn rootworm biology and pest management, we can combat this challenging pest while providing economical, practical and sustainable solutions for farmers,” Post said.

Researchers may submit proposals in a number of CRW areas: the economics of managing CRW under current farming systems; the development, refinement and validation of predictive models; the characterization of CRW resistance to effective control methods; the development of broad survey methods; and the development of educational tools around corn rootworm management.

Additional information, key dates and instructions on how to apply are available here.

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