argylesock says… Bt maize (corn, Zea mays) isn’t working so well as it used to. That crop has been genetically modified (GM, genetically engineered, GE) to produce a toxin called Cry3Bb1. It’s supposed to kill the beetle called Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) but the rootworm is evolving resistance to Cry3Bb1. You can see the science about it, published in 2011, here. The report I’m now reblogging says that the beetles are still evolving resistance, even when farmers rotate their crops.
Researchers in the key corn-growing state of Illinois are finding significant damage from rootworms in farm fields planted in a rotation with a genetically modified corn that is supposed to protect the crop from the pests, according to a new report.
Evidence gathered from fields in two Illinois counties suggests that pest problems are mounting as the rootworms grow ever more resistant to efforts to fight them, including crop rotation combined with use of the biotech corn, according to the report issued by Michael Gray, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.
Farmers across “a wide swath of Illinois” could face formidable challenges in protecting their corn crops from the hungry insects, Gray said in the August 27 report.
The crop damage was found in fields where the specialized biotech corn had been planted in a rotation following soybeans, a practice which typically helps beat back the…
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