Herculex® Insect Protection

Herculex ® Insect Protection offers outstanding protection against corn insects for maximum yield potential from high-yielding hybrids.  Herculex XTRA provides cost-effective, season-long control of a broad spectrum of above- and below-ground insects.  Herculex I provides the same consistent control of above-ground insects for areas with minimal rootworm pressure. Advanced corn trait technology, such as SmartStax® technology, is built on the Herculex family of traits.
  • Herculex XTRA is the most complete corn trait option for non-Roundup Ready® acres.
  • It provides season-long protection from a broad spectrum of corn insects, including European corn borer, corn rootworm, black cutworm, western bean cutworm and fall armyworm.
  • Cost-effective weed control options or a conventional herbicide program allow growers to maximize returns per acre.
  • Herculex® I Insect Protection gives growers who don’t need rootworm protection an additional option for controlling corn insects.
Insect Spectrum

Herculex® Insect Protection Insect Control Spectrum


European corn borer (ECB) feeds on all above-ground parts of the corn plant. It can produce one, two or multiple generations in a single season. First-generation ECB cases whorl damage, while second-generation ECB tunnels through the stalk.


Black cutworm (BCW) is the most damaging cutworm species in corn. Larvae sever plants near the soil line, reducing stands and lowering yields. Damage from BCW is often most evident in no-till or weedy fields, especially in poorly drained areas. Storm systems carry adult BCW moths to the Corn Belt from the southern United States in April and May each year where they lay their eggs in green fields.


Western bean cutworm (WBCW) feeds on developing ears, directly impacting yield. WBCW is not cannibalistic. Multiple larvae can infest each ear. An infestation of several larvae per ear can reduce yields by 30 percent to 40 percent.


Fall armyworm (FAW) overwinters in the Southern United States and migrates north in the summer. Early generations of FAW feed on young corn, from emergence to waist high or approximately V8, and can destroy entire plants. Controlling FAW with traditional pesticides is difficult and often not economical.


Corn rootworm (CRW) causes $1 billion in lost revenue each year —$800 million in yield loss and $200 million in treatment costs — according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the costliest corn insect pest. Herculex XTRA has shown consistent control of CRW over several years. 



Herbicide Options

Growers have herbicide flexibility within the Herculex Family of traits. HERCULEX XTRA offers the most complete corn trait option for non-Roundup Ready® acres, allowing for more cost-effective, alternative weed control options. Growers have choices when they plant hybrids with Herculex® Insect Protection.

  • Roundup Ready® – Roundup Ready Corn 2 technology is an option in many Herculex hybrids, providing tolerance to glyphosate herbicides, such as Durango® DMA® herbicide.
  • Conventional – Growers have the option to use a conventional herbicide program with the Herculex hybrids.

For more effective weed control, growers can incorporate a two-pass program with a residual herbicide such as SureStart® herbicide. SureStart delivers consistent broad-spectrum foundation control of broadleaf weeds and grasses with three modes of action to target tough-to-control weeds and the flexibility to spray corn from preplant to early postemergence. 


Growers using corn insect protection technology with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), including Herculex, are required to follow Insect Resistance Management (IRM) guidelines by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

A refuge — an area of non-traited plants — is a key element of IRM. Insects in the refuge are not exposed to the Bt insecticidal protein, allowing them to breed with rare insects that naturally resistant to Bt proteins. Susceptibility to the Bt proteins is passed to offspring, helping to protect the durability of the corn trait. More information, including refuge configuration options, is available in the Product Use Guide for Herculex® Insect Protection or go to the IRM refuge calculator from the National Corn Growers Association for additional refuge management tips.

Growers must sign a Technology Use Agreement before the purchase and delivery of seed containing Herculex Insect Protection.  Go to www.traitstewardship.com for more details on the Dow AgroSciences grower agreement and IRM.