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Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers
  • W. D. Hutchison, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • E. C. Burkness, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • P. D. Mitchell, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • R. D. Moon, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
  • T. W. Leslie, Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus
  • S. J. Fleischer, Pennsylvania State University - State College
  • M. Abrahamson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • K. L. Hamilton, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
  • Kevin L. Steffey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M. E. Gray, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Richard L Hellmich, United States Department of Agriculture
  • L. V. Kaster, Syngenta Seeds Inc.
  • Thomas E. Hunt, University of Nebraska Northeast Research and Extension Center
  • R. J. Wright, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Kenneth T. Pecinovsky, Iowa State University
  • T. L. Rabaey, General Mills
  • B. R. Flood, Del Monte Foods
  • E. S. Raun, Pest Management Co.
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Transgenic maize engineered to express insecticidal proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has become widely adopted in U.S. agriculture. In 2009, Bt maize was planted on more than 22.2 million hectares, constituting 63% of the U.S. crop. Using statistical analysis of per capita growth rate estimates, we found that areawide suppression of the primary pest Ostrinia nubilalis (European corn borer) is associated with Bt maize use. Cumulative benefits over 14 years are an estimated $3.2 billion for maize growers in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, with more than $2.4 billion of this total accruing to non-Bt maize growers. Comparable estimates for Iowa and Nebraska are $3.6 billion in total, with $1.9 billion for non-Bt maize growers. These results affirm theoretical predictions of pest population suppression and highlight economic incentives for growers to maintain non-Bt maize refugia for sustainable insect resistance management.

This article is from Science; 330 (2010); 222-225; doi: 10.1126/science.1190242

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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W. D. Hutchison, E. C. Burkness, P. D. Mitchell, R. D. Moon, et al.. "Areawide Suppression of European Corn Borer with Bt Maize Reaps Savings to Non-Bt Maize Growers" Science Vol. 330 Iss. 6001 (2010) p. 222 - 225
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