Dow Launches PowerCore Trait Technology

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Today, Dow AgroSciences launched its PowerCore trait technology that protects corn plants from above-ground insects.  Initially the trait will be offered in hybrids from five seed brands: Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seeds, Pfister Seeds and Prairie Brand Seed.

Designed to provide broad-spectrum control of damaging above-ground corn pests, the PowerCore trait technology incorporates a pyramid of three different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins. Because each Bt protein targets insects differently, PowerCore uses three modes of action, which not only offers improved insect control but also reduces the potential for insect resistance to the technology.

“PowerCore is a proven technology that growers in Brazil and Argentina have used successfully since 2012,” says Brian Barker, Dow AgroSciences general manager, of U.S. Seeds. “Its commercial introduction for U.S. growers exemplifies the company’s commitment to creating targeted pest management solutions that will help growers protect crop yields.”

Effective Control of Seven Costly Insects

PowerCore protects corn against damage from European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, corn earworm, western bean cutworm, black cutworm, fall armyworm and sugarcane borer, which can cause significant crop damage and yield loss. This trait package helps controls above-ground worm pests for growers with moderate to low rootworm pressure. PowerCore complements SmartStax trait technology in the Dow AgroSciences corn trait portfolio to offer growers another option in the fight against insect damage.

Yield losses due to the feeding activity of lepidopteran worm pests can be substantial. Black cutworm can reduce corn stands by 30 percent. Depending on the growth stage, just one European corn borer tunneled into a cornstalk could mean an 8.3-bushel-per-acre yield loss.

Resistance Management

Entomologists across the Corn Belt, especially in regions with heavy insect pressure, say a pyramid approach will provide growers improved control of above-ground pests with greater technology durability.

“A three-protein Bt trait technology offers growers better protection against lepidopteran pests and more effective resistance management,” says Brad Hopkins, Dow AgroSciences biology team leader for global seed treatments and North America insect resistant traits. “Furthermore, this combination of traits to control insects can help growers manage their crops more effectively and protect valuable yield potential.”

Insect Resistance Management guidelines for PowerCore include a 5 percent structured refuge in the Corn Belt and a 20 percent structured refuge in the Cotton Belt. A 5 percent structured refuge allows for in-bag refuge options to be available as PowerCore Refuge Advanced in 2017.

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