Latest Resistance management for sustainable agriculture and improved public health

Biotechnology Team News

  • A new Bt corn brochure: Integrating Bt corn for fall armyworm (FAW) management

    The IRAC Plant Biotechnology Working Group has completed a short poster brochure discussing the use of Bt corn to manage fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, in the Asia-Pacific region.  The brochure complements IRAC’s poster and brochure developed in 2021 entitled “Manage fall armyworm in 3 steps”.  The 3 steps are 1) Incorporate agronomic actions, 2) Identify pest and decide when to treat, and 3) Control FAW using IRM principles.  The main IRM principle relayed in this brochure is the rotation in modes of action across sequential pest generations.  While this 3 step process is effective for most countries in the Asia-Pacific region where crop protection tools are readily available, Bt corn is an important tool that also may be used by farmers in much of the Americas as well as in an increasing number of countries where fall armyworm has recently invaded like South Africa, Philippines, Pakistan, and Vietnam. 

    The Bt corn brochure is entitled “Integrating Bt corn for fall armyworm (FAW) management”.  Effective Bt hybrids against fall armyworm are available and we want to ensure that farmers follow insect resistance management guidelines to maximize long-term benefits of the technology.  This brochure also discusses a simple 3 step process:  1) Plan, 2) Plant refuge & monitor, and 3) Evaluate & Treat.  The purpose is to be proactive in building an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan to use multiple tools and tactics against FAW founded on the host-plant resistance provided by Bt traits.  Our goal is for farmers to be able to understand what a non-Bt refuge is, why it is important, and how to incorporate it when they plant a Bt corn hybrid.  We also advise farmers to scout their fields and determine the need to incorporate additional control tools, such as insecticidal sprays, if indeed economic population levels of FAW arise in their Bt and non-Bt corn fields.

    The new brochure is posted here and was developed in conjunction with CropLife International and with feedback from many contributors. If you have questions regarding this educational brochure supported by IRAC, please contact  Alan Porter at

  • Guidelines on IPM & IRM for Fall Armyworm in S. African Maize – Updated version

    In South Africa, it will be critically important to have a harmonised approach to IRM for FAW across the industry and across technologies. This approach should combine a clear and simple structured refuge policy which does not confuse growers between the requirements for FAW and maize stalk borers in South Africa, and which enables a high grower compliance. There are several commercialised Bt-products in South Africa which are very similar. This approach is in the best interests of the seed industry, growers and South African consumers. The new guidelines have now been published on the IRAC website.

  • Report on area wide IRM strategies for fall armyworm in corn in Puerto Rico

    Conclusions from the program:

    • An area wide insecticide rotation program is the best long term option to prolong efficacy of available insecticides for FAW management in Puerto Rico
    • Developing and implementing area wide programs requires a lot of effort and coordination
    • Area wide programs are a hard sell, getting 100% compliance on a voluntary basis not easy
    • Enforcing a fallow period may be necessary as rotation alone may not be enough to restore or maintain the efficacy of available MOAs
    • Use of other management tools, i.e., cultural and biological control, need to be incorporated into the program
    • This program benefits Puerto Rico/PRABIA, but it also has implications in other places given the migratory patterns of this pest.

    Read the full report

  • A new IRAC International Statement has been published on considerations for the IRM value of using insecticides on transgenic crops

    Chemical insecticides can be applied to conventional and transgenic crops expressing insecticidal proteins. When conducting a pest management program, it is important to take into account IRM considerations for both the transgenic trait (i.e. refuge adoption) and the chemistries being employed (both foliar applied and seed treatments). The IRAC Statement lists the key factors that should be considered when assessing the IRM value of applying the chemical insecticide.

  • 30 years of IRAC celebrated at the IRAC International Meeting

    IRAC held their 49th International Spring Meeting at the Hamner Conference Center, Research Triangle Park, NC hosted by BASF and Bayer CropScience on 17-20 March 2014. There were 9 sessions held over the 4 days including various working group planning meetings, a meeting of the IRAC Executive, and an “International Day” with four invited guest speakers. Presentations from the ‘International Day’ can be found on the IRAC website Resources Page by filtering for Spring Meeting 2014. In addition to the normal topics it was also a celebration of the 30th anniversary since the formation of IRAC in 1984. 

  • IRAC Position Papers for IRM in Transgenic Crops

    The IRAC International Plant Biotechnology Committee has just published two position papers for insect resistance management in transgenic crops.  The papers, available on the IRAC website, are titled: “Seed Blends for Resistance Management of Insect-Protected Transgenic Crops” and “IRM for Transgenic Crops in Small-Holder Agricultural Systems”

  • IRAC International’s 48th Meeting at Jealott’s Hill, UK

    IRAC held their 48th International Spring Meeting at Syngenta’s Research Centre in the UK on 18-22 March 2013. There were 12 session held over the 5 days including various working group planning meetings, a meeting of the IRAC Executive, and an “International Day’ with a session of guest speakers covering different aspects of resistance and resistance management. Presentations from the ‘International Day’ can be found on the IRAC website Resources Page and by filtering for Spring Meeting 2013

  • IRAC position statement on the use of mixtures

    IRAC, in consultation with its Executive member companies and representatives, have developed a general one-page position statement that presents the IRAC view on the use of mixtures and their relevance to insecticide resistance management. This includes the crop and public health sectors but more specific guidance, relevant to each area, will be developed over time using the position statement as a starting point. Copies of the IRAC Position Statement can be download via this link  or from links found on a number of the team pages (Executive, Crop, Public Health and Biotech).

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