Biotech Sweet Corn Program
What is Biotech Sweet Corn and how is it different from conventional varieties?
Biotech sweet corn has been bioengineered to exhibit specific traits that are not found in conventional varieties, including resistance to insect pests and tolerance to specific formulations of herbicide. These traits result in plants with strong inherent protection to insect pests, particularly lepidoptera species, with reduced use of insecticides, as well as greater flexibility in weed management.
How It Works - Insect Protection
Proteins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are effective in controlling lepidopteran insect pests because when consumed these proteins bind to the insect’s mid-gut membrane and create pores that ultimately result in insect death. Biotech sweet corn has been developed to produce these proteins, and effectively resist damage from several insect pests. The exact spectrum of control of these insects depends on the traits of each specific variety.
How It Works - Herbicide Tolerance
Broad-spectrum herbicides provide excellent control of weeds in a variety of crop production systems; however, their use is limited in Sweet Corn production due to the risk of crop damage. Certain Biotech Sweet Corn varieties can tolerate the active ingredients of these herbicides by breaking down the chemistries involved into non-effective components. Therefore, chemistries such as glyphosate and glufosinate can be applied for weed control without causing unintended harm to the crop. The exact tolerance to herbicide compounds depends on the traits of each specific variety.
When managed in accordance with the Stewardship Agreement guidelines, Biotech sweet corn can be a valuable addition to your crop management strategy for many years to come.
Biotech sweet corn is a valuable Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tool that, when combined with other practices in a multifaceted program, will contribute to pest control, preserving ecological diversity, and reducing overall production inputs. While these technologies have been proven highly effective against pest species, it is important to incorporate additional methods of pest population control including crop rotation, tillage, and targeted use of chemical insecticides to manage any insect outbreaks.
It is important to scout for and target these outbreaks, as they may lead to resistant populations that are no longer controllable by the available methods. Insect resistance is a real possibility and should be taken seriously. Each of us, from the grower to the seed industry, has a responsibility to manage this new technology carefully to preserve its long-term value for growers, consumers, and the environment. If you observe unexpected damage from pests typically controlled by Biotech technology, please contact your Account Manager.
Interested in purchasing Biotech Sweet Corn?
All orders require completion of the appropriate Stewardship Agreements and a Grower License Number on file before shipment will be made. These Stewardship Agreements confirm that you understand the benefits provided by Biotech varieties as well as the importance of following best management practices to ensure their functionality in future years.
To complete these Stewardship Agreements and receive the license numbers required to complete your order, please visit www.agcelerate.com and follow the instructions provided there to register as a grower. We recommend registering with both Syngenta® and Seminis® so that you’ll be set up to purchase either Attribute® or Performance® Series Varieties.
Upon registration you will receive a Grower License Number specific to each brand. These license numbers will be effective for any future purchases of Biotech varieties through any dealer.
Once you have your license number(s), contact your Harris Seeds Account Manager or call our Customer Care Department at 800.544.7938 to have the license number added to your account information.