Heitholt is concerned about growers’ high expectations.  “In the 2007 survey, a majority of growers indicated that their expectation for a variety claiming to be tolerant would mean that spraying would not be required,” Heitholt said.

 “Tolerant varieties might be able to withstand low stink bug infestations without insecticides but spraying will likely be needed in situations where stink bug populations are high. We hope the varieties will allow growers to reduce their number of spray applications, but we doubt the tolerant varieties will eliminate spraying completely.  We need to get new lines out and see whether growers notice an improvement.”

Heitholt said tolerance could be bred into transgenic lines, but “we hope to retain a few competitive conventional varieties for growers with alternative marketing strategies.”  The follow-up survey will collect responses through January 2011.   Heitholt’s contact information can be found on the last page of the survey.