New Bt Corn Resists Three Pests

New Bt Corn Resists Three Pests
Ailene Libreta of Bioseed showing two ears of Bioseed Healer 102.

There is a new genetically-engineered corn hybrid that is high-yielding which can also completely protect itself against Asiatic corn borer, earworm and cutworm.

This is the Bioseed Healer 102, a new variety that was launched for commercial planting in Pangasinan and Isabela recently by Bioseed Philippines, a seed company based in General Santos City.
Healer 102 is an improved version of earlier Bt corn varieties that can only protect themselves from the Asian corn borer, a major pest of corn in the country. 
On top of that, this new variety is also an RR variety or the so-called Round Up-ready. This means that the corn plants are not damaged even if they are sprayed with the Round Up weedkiller when spraying the field against pesky weeds. This means additional savings for the farmer because manual weeding is very costly. If the Round Up herbicide is used, the material used per hectare is only worth P480, which is one liter.
The Healer 102 plant has a shorter stature than that of Healer 101. This means that harvesters have an easier time in harvesting the ears.
Also, the dark orange color of the kernels is well-liked by the buyers, especially the feedmillers. And then the kernels are heavy because there is very little white portion of the endosperm.
Several farmer-cooperators have planted Healer 102 during the last season in Pangasinan and Isabela. One of them is Arthur Dacanay of Alcala, Pangasinan, a mechanical engineer who opted to become a full-time farmer rather than a company employee after passing the board exams for mechanical engineers.
Last November 2012 Arthur planted 8 kilos of Healer 102 seeds on a half-hectare field which yielded 40.05 tons or the equivalent of 8.1 tons per hectare.
Producing the Healer 102 is economical because one does not have to spray chemical pesticides on the plants to control the three destructive pests of corn – corn borer, corn earworm and cutworm.
Arthur estimates that total cost of producing one hectare of Healer 102 is about P40,000. At the yield of 8.1 tons per hectare that Arthur got in his previous planting, one can make a net profit of P56,000 per hectare in a culture period of 110 days.
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