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New insect control tech for maize farmers in SA

Home Agriculture New insect control tech for maize farmers in SA

CORTEVA Agriscience has officially introduced PowerCore technology to South Africa’s maize farmers.

Tony Esmeraldo, Business Director, Corteva Agriscience described the solution as a “high-performing, herbicide-resistant seed trait”, adding that it helps protect crops from damaging above-ground insects, such as the maize stalk borer and spotted maize stem borer.

Top local seed brands, Pannar and Pioneer will be offering PowerCore technology as part of new, high-yielding genetics within their respective maize portfolios.

“South Africa’s agricultural, food and beverage exports hit a record high of $12.4 billion (approximately R191.4 billion) in 2021, with maize being a significant contributor, reaching its largest export volume since 1994/1995,” Esmeraldo told this year’s Grain SA Congress.

“What’s more, maize is a staple for many across the country and, as such, it is critical that local farmers are given the tools they need to help protect their yields.”

He said local trials had not only demonstrated the efficacy of PowerCore technology, but the trait also has a proven track record in similar climates in both Brazil and Argentina, where it has been successfully used since 2012.

“We are extremely proud to share the latest advancement in Corteva Agriscience’s innovative pest control solutions with in-country farmers, to help them address one of the largest problems they face on a daily basis.”

The technology uses combined modes of action to combat primary and secondary pests that can cause significant crop damage and subsequent production losses. The trait comprises three different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins, each targeting insects differently, while helping to prolong the durability of the technology.

“Farmers have another option in the fight against insect damage and can now decide which Bt trait technology best suits their farms, depending on field history and agronomic conditions. Our overall aim is to ensure that farmers have access to better technology to get the most of out of every hectare of maize.”

The company has a network of strategically placed research facilities and testing locations spanning the continent, focused on new product development across multiple crops, including soybean and maize trait portfolios in South Africa.

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