Trap crops may control Mexican rice borers
Results from field trials by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service indicate that selected genetically modified insect-resistant Bt maize lines could act as trap crops preventing the spread of the invasive pest, the Mexican rice borer ( Eoreuma loftini) in sugar cane crops. The pest was first detected in the US on sugar cane in Texas in the early 1980s. Since then, it has become the dominant stem-boring pest in sugar cane, responsible for annual losses of some $10–20 million, and spread to rice-producing regions in Texas and Louisiana. It is expected to infest all Louisiana’s sugar- and rice-growing areas by 2035.