Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax product is the newest corn product to be approved for crop insurance premium reduction under the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement (BE) program offered by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) - USDA.

The Pilot BE program lowers crop insurance premiums in 2011 for irrigated and non-irrigated corn farmers who meet the program qualifying requirements and plant qualifying hybrids in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Now, U.S. Corn Belt farmers planting the industry’s first, single-bag refuge solution for corn may be eligible to reduce their crop insurance premiums as part of the Pilot BE program. All Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax hybrids qualify for the pilot.

“The BE program is an added benefit for growers in the Corn Belt who now have the convenience of the single-bag product on their acres with Refuge Advanced ,” said Casey Onstot, Dow AgroSciences traits marketing manager. In April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered the product, which is available in limited quantities on U.S. farms for the first time this growing season.

Refuge Advanced is a blend of 95 percent SmartStax corn seed and 5 percent refuge (non-Bt) seed that farmers can plant across their entire field. This means farmers who plant Refuge Advanced  products no longer need to plant a separate, structured refuge for above- or below-ground pests in the Corn Belt. For farmers who have purchased SmartStax that is not Refuge Advanced , the structured refuge is still required.

Refuge Advanced will be offered only through Dow AgroSciences seed brands, including Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Pfister Seeds, Renze Seeds, and Triumph Seed. Dow AgroSciences expects a full commercial launch with a broad lineup of hybrids for sale for 2012 planting.

In 2008, the Pilot BE was first introduced in four states as the Biotech Yield Endorsement program and was the first crop insurance discount based on biotechnology.

Additional program details regarding the Pilot BE are available on the RMA Web site at http://www.rma.usda.gov/policies/bye.html .