A biotech corn variety has provided a solution to a fungal disease causing
losses to farmers in Bukidnon, Philippines.
Corn farmers in the uplands of Bukidnon tried planting Agrisure NK306BtGT
(Event BT11xGA21) which showed resistance to the Diplodia Ear Rot or DER, a
destructive fungal disease that causes grayish or grayish brown mold in the
ears or kernels, eventually resulting in the rotting of the ears. This
stacket trait variety with herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits
was developed by Syngenta.
According to Rosalia Ragmac, a corn grower from Bukidnon, their corn plants
had been affected by the disease for more than ten years, giving them poor
harvest. Thus, they could not pay for the borrowed money to finance their
five-hectare farm. Today, NK306 gives them an opportunity to improve their
Syngenta's Corn Product Selection Lead, Duanne Makabudbud, mentioned that
NK306 performs favorably in upland and high elevation areas, especially
where DER is prevalent. The corn variety is also resistant to stalk rot and
foliar diseases and performs well even in poor soil and adverse weather
conditions. It can be planted at a density of 71,000 to 80,000 plants per
hectare with a potential yield of 10-12 tons per hectare.