January 5, 1999 | By: Ellen Brightwell

Because Bt corn produces its own insecticide, scouts will need to monitor this type corn differently than standard hybrids. Resistance management of Bt corn is among the educational sessions planned for an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training school March 24 at the University of Kentucky Research Center in Princeton.

The training will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST. Participants will receive continuing education units for certified crop advisers.

(Bacillus thuringiensis is an environmentally safe soil-borne bacterium. Bt corn has been genetically engineered with some of the genetic material from this bacterium, which causes the plant to produce a protein that protects it against some insect pests.)

"Bt corn has resistance to some, but not all, of the insect pests that typically attack standard hybrids. As a result, scouts probably won't find certain insects on Bt corn, yet should be on the lookout for other insect pests. For example, corn borers, armyworms and fall armyworms are greatly reduced on Bt corn. However, we can't forget about cutworms and flea beetles on Bt corn," said Ric Bessin, Extension entomologist with the UK College of Agriculture.

During the training, Bessin will review what insects scouts should look for on Bt corn as well as the biology and economic thresholds of pests.

The training school will provide comprehensive information to help people identify pests of corn, soybeans, small grains and alfalfa as well as procedures to use when scouting fields for weeds, diseases and insects. The sessions will benefit people who advise others or make pest management decisions, including farmers, crop consultants and agribusiness representatives, according to Patty Lucas, Extension IPM specialist.

"We will have live insect pests, growing weeds and some disease samples for people to see during this training," Lucas added. "We believe that being able to view and examine these pests up close and personal will help participants learn now to better identify crop pests."

Training participants also will receive details on how to obtain pest information from various University of Kentucky Web sites.

The training is accredited to offer five CEUs for certified crop advisors as follows: two and one half units in pest management, two units in crop production, and one half unit in nutrient management.

For more information, contact Lucas at (502) 365-7541, Ext. 218, or send e-mail to plucas@ca.uky.edu.

Contact: 

Writer: Ellen Brightwell
(606) 257-1376

Sources: Ric Bessin
(606) 257-7456

Patty Lucas
(502) 365-7541, Ext. 218