(Posted Tue. Aug 25th, 2015)

In an effort supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Phillip Zamore, from University of Massachusetts Medical School, a grant for the proposal entitled “Why Does Western Corn Rootworm Sample Double Stranded RNAi in Its Environment?”  


NCGA believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. RNAi represents a new mode of action for corn rootworm control and potentially for other insects as well.   This project will explain why RNAi works in some insects and also what strategies can be employed to ensure long-term effectiveness of RNAi as a mode of action to control Western corn rootworm.


Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus NCGA continues to work with industry and government on resistance management.


The Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program, a ten-member advisory committee consisting of academics and growers, provides merit-based awards for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of insect management but also address significant challenges and issues in agriculture. NCGA Director of Research and New Uses Dr. Richard Vierling serves on the grant review committee to ensure the projects will develop tools that meet farmers’ needs. The research addresses the following areas: development of predictive models of resistance; farmer education and training; and sustainable pest management. The program originally started in 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program but expanded its focus to include insects that are economically damaging to any U.S. row crop.