Comparing Corn Rootworm Trait Platforms

December 14, 2020


  • The corn rootworm complex, (Western corn rootworm, Northern corn rootworm, and Mexican corn rootworm) is commonly referred to as the ‘billion-dollar pest complex’ due to it’s potential to adversely affect yield.

  • Various companies offer several choices of corn products that contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins to control corn rootworm.

  • With this is mind, the Bayer Learning Center at Monmouth, Il conducted a demonstration to compare the effectiveness of several competing pyramided corn products containing more than one Bt protein active against corn rootworm.


Location Monmouth, Il Soil Type Silt loam

Corn Tillage

Conventional tillage

Planting Date 06/4/20 Harvest Date 10/27/20

Potential Yield
250 Seeding Rate

  • This demonstration consisted of six total treatments including three different competitive trait platforms, each containing a 5% refuge blend of a non-Bt corn product:
    • Treatment 1: a 114 RM VT Double PRO® RIB Complete® corn blend
    • Treatment 2: a 114 RM SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend (same genetic background as Treatment 1)
    • Treatment 3: a 113 RM SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend
    • Treatment 4: a 103 RM Pioneer® brand Qrome® product, P0306Q Brand
    • Treatment 5: a 103 RM Pioneer® brand Optimum® AcreMax® XTreme product, P0306AMXT Brand (same genetic background as Treatment 4)
    • Treatment 6: a 113 RM Agrisure Duracade® product, NK1354-5222 E-Z Refuge Brand
  • Each treatment had two replications.
  • This trial was conducted in a field area that was in its third year of corn with a prior history of rootworm feeding.


Figure 1. Average yield (bu/acre) per treatment.

  • All products with CRW trait protection yielded higher than Treatment 1, which contained no trait protection for CRW.

  • There are many variables affecting yield, such as genetics and RM, but in this trial both SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend products (Treatment 2 and Treatment 3) yielded higher than the competitive trait platforms (Treatments 4, 5, and 6).


  • SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend products contain two proteins for corn rootworm control to help maximize yield potential.

  • An effective corn rootworm management program should consist of multiple best management practices. This could include an effective pyramided trait corn product such as SmartStax® Technology.

  • Consult with your local Field Sales Representative or Technical Agronomist for custom tailored recommendations to fit your specific needs.