What’s the deal with pest resistance?
Pests – insects, disease and weeds -- are a regular part of life. For large areas, our pest removal practices have included spraying safe pesticides or relying on plant genetics to manage them. But many pests can reproduce quickly and often, allowing them to evolve and develop tolerance to some of our easiest, cheapest and most effective management tools. Some pests are completely tolerant to some pesticides. When this occurs, it is called pest resistance, because they can now resist and survive a specific management tactic that previously controlled them.
Pest resistance is a natural process. However, when it comes to something as valuable as our food and when there’s no easy way to fight a pest, it can lead to yield reductions and increasing costs. Farmers, landowners, scientists, private businesses, and groups of individuals are finding ways to preserve our management tools, prevent pest resistance, and develop management strategies for already resistant pests.
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean John Lawrence and Iowa farmer Larry Buss of Logan today announced the release of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan. A video of the announcement is available here.
Version 1 of the IPRMP is an Iowa-specific plan that seeks to engage farmers on the issue of pest resistance management with the goal of keeping technology and tools such as pesticides, seed treatments and biotechnology products and native traits available and effective.
Corteva Agriscience recently confirmed resistance to the Cry34/35Ab1 Bt protein in Delaware County.
Three of four Bt traits targeting corn rootworm (Cry3Bb1/Yieldguard rootworm; mCry3A/Agrisure RW; and eCry3.1Ab + mCry3A/Agrisure Duracade) are not reliable for rootworm control due to widespread resistance. Due to a reduction in effectiveness of the Cry3 proteins, farmers have come to rely upon Cry34/35Ab1 for rootworm protection, placing significant selection pressure on this trait.