MSU and Monsanto launch $3 million corn rootworm program

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Michigan State University (MSU) and Monsanto Company are teaming up to tackle one of the most damaging pests on the farm – the corn rootworm.

Monsanto pledged up to $3 million to support academic research on corn rootworm. The Corn Rootworm Knowledge Research Program will provide merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per year for up to three years for outstanding research projects that address specific aspects of corn rootworm biology, genomics and management issues.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that the damage caused by the pest and costs associated with controlling it typically total $1 billion annually – including approximately $800 million in yield loss and $200 million in treatment expenses.

The program is being co-chaired by Steve Pueppke, MSU AgBioResearch director, and Dusty Post, Monsanto’s global insect management lead.

“This program will focus the efforts of our best public sector researchers on one of the most damaging pests of corn, in the process ensuring that management practices will be effective and sustainable for the benefit of corn producers,” Pueppke said.

“We encourage researchers to submit their proposals on corn rootworm,” Post said. “We believe it is critical to work together to build upon and expand on corn rootworm research to combat this challenging pest. By working collaboratively we can enhance the collective understanding of corn rootworm while providing economical, practical and sustainable solutions for farmers.”

Researchers may submit proposals in the areas of corn crop rootworm management; economic impacts of agronomic practices, including control of corn rootworm; corn rootworm biology, physiology, biochemistry and genomics; and corn rootworm education development. Other types of research may also be considered.

Applicants and other interested parties should visit for additional information, key dates and instructions on how to apply.

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