Biotech Adoption XTRA Rapid

New field trial research shows growers are embracing the new corn rootworm technology.

In just its second year on the market, HERCULEX XTRA Insect Protection has captured nearly 20% of the nation’s corn acres containing a corn rootworm trait, according to independent market research. The acceptance of HERCULEX XTRA by growers is due to its high-yielding genetics and ability to protect roots from corn rootworm damage, says Ben Kaehler, Traits & Germplasm Licensing business leader for Dow AgroSciences.

“We’re very pleased with the growth of HERCULEX hybrids, particularly since YieldGard has been available in the market for several years prior to the entry of HERCULEX,” Kaehler says. “After seeing the performance results of HERCULEX products in 2007, we expect growers will continue to plant more acres to this superior technology.”

There have been numerous questions about how yields are affected by traits. Dow AgroSciences tried to answer that question by conducting studies to evaluate yield performance between hybrids with identical genetics containing either HERCULEX XTRA or YieldGard Plus in-plant traits.

These trials, conducted under heavy corn rootworm pressure, took place at seven locations across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebraska. The results showed that the HERCULEX XTRA hybrid averaged 231 bushels per acre, while YieldGard Plus netted 221 bushels per acre (bu./A), a difference of 10 bu./A.

The study also showed that the HERCULEX XTRA hybrid protected yield from corn rootworm damage. Again, the same genetics protected by HERCULEX XTRA outyielded the hybrid without the corn rootworm trait by 28 bu./A.

“Under an apples-to-apples comparison, the results clearly showed that HERCULEX XTRA delivers outstanding yield protection from corn rootworm,” says Maynard Ochs, product development agronomist for Dow AgroSciences. “Second, the trials prove the value of protecting corn from rootworm with hybrids containing HERCULEX XTRA.”

HERCULEX XTRA Insect Protection has shown excellent performance in Midwestern university root ratings trials both in 2006 and 2007. An average of root ratings from nine Midwestern states showed that hybrids without a corn rootworm trait saw considerable feeding damage that led to a rating of 1.62 on the 1-to-3 rating scale. However, the average root rating for HERCULEX XTRA hybrids was just 0.07.

(Source: Dow AgroSciences)

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