USA – Meristem Crop Performance has announced the release of GUARD X, the first-ever EPA-approved corn rootworm biological treatment delivered through the patented BIO-CAPSULE Technology seed fluency system. 

This innovative solution offers farmers an alternative to expensive trait stacks and difficult-to-handle insecticides.

GUARD X is designed to offer a new mode of action for overcoming corn rootworm resistance, protecting roots, and doing so cost-effectively. 

Mitch Eviston, Meristem’s CEO and co-founder, highlighted that GUARD X will be used on 200,000 acres this spring, saving farmers approximately US$2 million.

Corn rootworm resistance has been increasing, causing significant damage and yield loss. According to the USDA, corn rootworm issues cost American farmers about US$1 billion annually. 

GUARD X addresses this by inducing plants to produce natural defense exudates that repel CRW larvae and promote root regrowth if damage occurs. 

Farmers need a way to fight back against resistant rootworms without reverting to in-furrow insecticide kits,” said Shane Brockhoff, regional director for Meristem. 

“GUARD X offers a solution for less than US$14 per acre, protecting corn from rootworm damage.”

GUARD X utilizes pink-pigmented facultative methylotrophs (PPFMs) to protect the root zone and mitigate feeding damage. Meristem’s patented BIO-CAPSULE system ensures the beneficial microbes remain vigorous until their point of use. 

John Tiarks, a farmer from Underwood, Iowa, expressed confidence in GUARD X, stating it provides additional insurance against rootworm damage, which can cost growers 30 to 40 bushels per acre if not properly managed.

Meristem’s launch of GUARD X follows the EPA approval of METALAXYL ST for soybeans, also delivered through the BIO-CAPSULE system. 

This approval adds to Meristem’s portfolio of innovative products aimed at increasing productivity and reducing costs for farmers. 

Bringing this sort of innovation that cuts waste and enhances productivity is key to Meristem’s growth,” said Eviston. 

He also highlighted other Meristem products, such as UPSHIFT C and AQUADRAFT C, which offer farmers significant savings and efficiency improvements.

John Gertz, Meristem’s COO, emphasized the role of local businesses in delivering these innovations, stating that independent, local businesses can better meet the needs of their communities than distant national distributors.

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