Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Bt maize – a potential contribution to integrated production?

Bt maize represents a targeted and efficient measure for controlling certain pests. Replacing broad-spectrum insecticides with Bt maize produces environmental benefits, for example because this approach does not harm beneficial organisms. Growers can produce high-quality products with low time and resource investment. Resistance evolution and potential secondary pest outbreaks are risks for the sustainable use of Bt maize that require appropriate management plans (refuges, encouragement of natural enemies) and monitoring. Despite higher seed prices and administrative requirements, Bt-maize growers in areas with high pest pressure have generally been able to increase their gross margin. With the non-authorisation of Bt maize in several European countries, however, not all producers can make use of this economic potential. In the context of integrated production, Bt maize could be used in combination with other measures.

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