TRADEOFFS – GENETICALLY MODIFIED VS. MORE INSECTICIDE

August 29, 2016

TRADEOFFS – GENETICALLY MODIFIED VS. MORE INSECTICIDE

Nothing says summer more than a fresh cob of sweet corn, but each stalk takes some TLC to get to that point. From the time corn is put in the ground, our field scouts are in the fields once a week checking for problems.

Because most of the sweet corn grown is still non-GMO due to consumer demand, we have to, unfortunately, resort to putting more insecticides on those plants to protect them from certain insects:
  • Beetles will eat the silks off of the corn, which means that ear is unable to pollinate and leaves us with bare cobs.
  • Rootworms will lay their larvae on the stalks to feed off of the roots.
  • Earworms will get into the husk and eat the end of the cob.
Once we assess the impact that the pest is having on our crop, we may spray the corn with an insecticide to control the pests and protect the plant.
 
Let’s face it: We all want the corn cob we’re biting into to look good. Because a GM variety of sweet corn hasn’t been commercially approved to contain a protein that would ward off these pests, we instead have to apply insecticides to control the pests.

 

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor Esmond, IL

Paul grows sweet corn and vegetables for Del Monte on his farm in northern Illinois. He has experience growing both GM and non-GM crops, so he share his experience and perspective on both. Paul and his wife, Barb, enjoy spending time on the farm and watching their children and grandchildren grow.

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