Management of Caterpillars on Non-GMO Corn

Grants and Contracts Details


Justification: The development of genetically modified corn (GMO) has greatly improved the management of above-ground caterpillar pests. However, the integrated pest management for these pests on non-GMO corn is still problematic. In Kentucky there is demand for non-GMO corn and many farmers in Central KY plant this type of corn. One market that uses non-GMO corn is the Bourbon industry, one of the most profitable sectors in Kentucky. This sector has shown a 65% increase in locally grown corn use since 2014 and in 2015 this industry used between 15 and 20 million bushels of corn. Although, >90% of KY corn is GMO, the Bourbon production provides an interesting window into non-GMO grain, and sale of a non-GMO sub product. In Kentucky, there are at least three distilleries that use 100% non-GMO corn in their various whiskeys (Wild Turkey, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace). There are some reports that there is not enough production to satisfy the demand for non–GMO corn. The regularly occurring above ground caterpillar pests include European corn borer and corn earworm with black cutworm causing sporadic problems. Much of the insecticide work to manage these aboveground pests in KY was done in the 90s or earlier, today we have new insecticide chemistries, such as insect growth regulators and other ‘soft’ chemistry, and the hybrids are different. In this proposal we believe the timely and efficacious use of new chemistry insecticides can facilitate the production of non-GMO corn. Objectives: 1. To compare the major pest problems in non-GMO corn compared with GMO corn. 2. To provide up-to-date recommendations to manage caterpillars in non-GMO corn using new chemistry technologies.
Effective start/end date2/1/196/1/20


  • Kentucky Corn Growers Association: $15,000.00


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