Economic Analysis of Dynamic Management Strategies Utilizing Transgenic Corn for Control of Western Corn Rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

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We studied management strategies for western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, using transgenic corn, Zea mays L., from both a biological and an economic perspective. In areas with and without populations adapted to a 2-yr rotation of corn and soybean (rotation-resistant), the standard management strategy was to plant 80% of a cornfield (rotated and continuous) to a transgenic cultivar each year. In each area, we also studied dynamic management strategies where the proportion of transgenic corn increased over time in a region. We also analyzed management strategies for a single field that is the first to adopt transgenic corn within a larger unmanaged region. In all areas, increasing the expression of the toxin in the plant increased economic returns. In areas without rotation-resistance, planting 80% transgenic corn in the continuous cornfield each year generated the greatest returns with a medium toxin dose or greater. In areas with alleles for rotation-resistance at low initial levels, a 2-yr rotation of nontransgenic corn and soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., may be the most economical strategy if resistance to crop rotation is recessive. If resistance to crop rotation is additive or dominant, planting transgenic corn in the rotated cornfield was the most effective strategy. In areas where rotation-resistance is already a severe problem, planting transgenic corn in the rotated cornfield each year was always the most economical strategy. In some cases the strategies that increased the proportion of transgenic corn in the region over time increased returns compared with the standard strategies. With these strategies the evolution of resistance to crop rotation occurred more rapidly but resistance to transgenic corn was delayed compared with the standard management strategy. In areas not managed by a regional norm, increasing the proportion of transgenic corn and increasing toxin dose in the managed field generally increased returns. In a sensitivity analysis, among the parameters investigated, only density-dependent survival affected the results.

Keywords: Diabrotica virgifera virgifera; insect resistance management; integrated pest management; modeling; transgenic corn

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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