Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) is the most serious insect pest of Brassica crops (including cabbage, broccoli, etc), both in the US and worldwide. Economic impact estimates exceed $4 billion annually.
One of the reasons DBM is so hard to manage is because it quickly develops resistance to insecticides. In fact, (IR) has been noted in over 600 cases, for nearly 100 unique active ingredients such as carbamates, pyrethroids, and spinosyns. The most recent concern of IR is within the diamide insecticides. Diamide products that Willamette-Valley brassica producers rely on include chlorantraniliprole, cyantraniliprole, and flubendiamide. Trade names are Coragen, Exirel, and Synapse. We are currently conducting research to test for IR in regional populations of DBM and related pests.
Scientists at Cornell University have developed an “insecticide-free management approach” that involves releasing genetically-modified DBM moths into the landscape to cause eventual mortality of females. This research, while novel, is also controversial. Cornell has applied for a permit to make field releases of their transgenic moths in NY state. An environmental assessment has been conducted by USDA-APHIS, and public comment is welcome until MAY 19th, 2017.
More information can be found at http://bit.ly/2pO1GBE
To see official documents, and comment on the proposed field release click here.