Monsanto is moving forward on a new corn trait that will protect against corn rootworm and provide glyphosate tolerance.
The trait, MON 87411, was recently deregulated by the USDA. This is the first step in a multi-year process to get the trait approved by regulatory agencies and into the hands of farmers.
“It will build on the current biotechnology products planted by farmers today,” says Jeffrey Neu, communications manager at Monsanto. “By adding a new RNA-mediated mode of action that will not only enhance the effectiveness of controlling corn rootworm, but also prolong the durability other existing Bt technologies currently in the market for corn rootworm management.”
This product will add a third mode of action against yield-robbing corn rootworms, which should reduce pressure on the other two, older, Bt technologies. Monsanto hopes to use the new trait to prolong the efficacy of all three traits.
What comes next? MON 87411 will need to be assessed Environmental Protection Agency and regulators in other counties. This will be a multi-year process, and Monsanto has not committed to a specific launch year since time dedicated to each step varies. However, they do anticipate launching the trait by the end of the decade.
How big of a problem is corn rootworm on your farm? Let us know in the comments.