GUARD X™ EPA-approved for seed fluency delivery system

Corn rootworm can be devastating. – Photo: Still from video Meristem.
Corn rootworm can be devastating. – Photo: Still from video Meristem.

GUARD X, the first EPA-approved corn rootworm biological to be delivered to the furrow through the patented BIO-CAPSULE™ Technology seed fluency system, was officially released by Meristem Crop Performance.

In recent years resistance of corn rootworm (CRW) to traits has increased and insect pressure has risen. For growers, making a wrong bet can mean big losses: corn rootworm damage, yield loss and mitigation is costing American farmers about $1 billion annually according to the USDA.

“This is a fully integrated planter box system to provide a new mode of action for farmers to overcome corn rootworm resistance, guard those roots, and do it in a convenient, cost-effective way,” said Meristem CEO Mitch Eviston in making the announcement. “We’ll get this on 200,000 acres this spring and that’s going to save those farmers about $2 million. It’s another step in bringing real productivity to American farmers and helping them raise more bushels at a lower per unit cost of production.”

Triggering natural defense

GUARD X Corn Rootworm (CRW) Management + Root Regeneration provides a new means to guard roots from CRW larvae. GUARD X induces the plant’s genes to trigger production of natural defense root exudates that confuse CRW larvae, so they move away from the root. As part of defense mechanism, biological activity also promotes root regrowth if a larva does cause damage.

Meristem’s GUARD X is a biological pesticide that uses a unique strain of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria known as pink pigmented facultative methylotrophs (PPFMs). These PPFMs protect the root zone and mitigate corn rootworm feeding damage. Veteran biologicals expert Chris Thrasher, Meristem’s Director of Innovation and Product Management, says the future will be about pairing biologicals like these effectively with EPA-approved chemistry.

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Ed Asscheman Online editor Future Farming