Planting dates of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) corn were adjusted to determine the utility in managing European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner). Transgenic Bt (events 176 and Bt11) corn and non-Bt corn were planted at three different times to use the early- and late-planted corn as a potential trap crop for ovipositing European corn borer moths. Grain moisture and yields were recorded to determine the economic benefits of Bt corn planted on the different dates, based on European corn borer populations and corn damage data collected before harvest. Data were recorded from three locations in southwestern, central, and northeastern Iowa for three summers (1996–1998). Economic benefits are discussed in relation to EILs and yield results. Adjusting the planting dates of Bt and non-Bt corn provided variable economic differences among planting dates in northern Iowa; however, greater economic benefits were realized when Bt corn was planted late during the planting sequence in central and southwestern Iowa. These results suggest that planting corn should be conducted in a timely manner and, if delayed or required to plant late, planting Bt corn would likely provide greater economic benefits. Although yield and economic variability were high, using Bt corn in combination with planting date adjustments may be a viable option for managing European corn borer.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3