Isoline pairs of hybrid corn, similar except for presence or absence of a Bt trait, were planted at eight sites across Alabama over three years. This study evaluated insect damage, yield, and aflatoxin levels as affected by the Bt traits, YieldGard Corn Borer (expressing Cry1Ab), Herculex I (expressing Cry1F), Genuity VT Triple PRO (expressing Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2), Agrisure Viptera 3111 (expressing Vip3Aa20 and Cry1Ab), and Genuity SmartStax (expressing Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, and Cry1F). When examined over all sites and years, hybrids with any of the included Bt traits had lower insect damage and higher yields. However, insect damage was not consistently correlated to yield. Bt traits expressing multiple proteins provided greater protection from corn earworm feeding than did traits for single proteins. Yields and aflatoxin levels were highly variable among sites although irrigated sites had higher yields than nonirrigated sites. Aflatoxins commonly accumulate in corn in the southeastern United States because of prevailing high temperatures and frequent dry conditions. Aflatoxin levels were not consistently associated with any factors that were evaluated, including Bt traits.
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Vol. 107 • No. 5