A simulation model of the western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte, was used to investigate whether sampling and economic thresholds can improve integrated pest management (IPM) and insect resistance management (IRM) when transgenic insecticidal crops are used for insect pest management. When transgenic corn killed at least 80% of susceptible larvae, the calculated economic threshold increased linearly as the proportion of susceptible beetles surviving the toxin increased. The use of economic thresholds slightly slowed the evolution of resistance to transgenic insecticidal crops. In areas with or without rotation-resistant western corn rootworm phenotypes, the use of sampling and economic thresholds generated similar returns compared with strategies of planting transgenic corn, Zea mays L., every season. Because transgenic crops are extremely effective, farmers may be inclined to plant transgenic crops every season rather than implementing costly and time-consuming sampling protocols.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3