The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to see continued increase in adoption of refuge-in-a-bag (integrated refuge) products, simplifying growers’ refuge requirements in the Corn Belt. According to the annual Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) results, all growers surveyed in the Corn Belt planted at least one refuge in a bag product, and many growers planted exclusively refuge-in-a-bag products.
The CAP, implemented by Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), is designed to improve compliance with EPA-mandated Insect Resistance Management (IRM) requirements, and includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey, IRM education and awareness.
Adoption of refuge in a bag products results in automatic compliance in the Corn Belt
Highlights of the survey indicate a strong adoption of refuge-in-a-bag products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or container. “We are pleased to see that growers have rapidly adopted refuge-in-a-bag products to meet refuge requirements. Refuge compliance, whether through planting structured refuges or using refuge-in-a-bag products, is important to help preserve Bt corn technology durability” said Mark Kimm, ABSTC IRM subcommittee co-chair.
Survey shows that most growers are in compliance
In 2015, the majority of growers surveyed planted the required refuge size on their farms and planted it within the required distance for all of their Bt corn fields. Furthermore, the survey indicated that the percentage of growers not planting any refuge acres continues to be low.
The ABSTC continues to promote educational programs and strategies to preserve the efficacy of Bt technology. In addition, the ABSTC partners with NCGA to ensure that NCGA’s membership and networks are fully informed of refuge requirements and the CAP. A collaboration supporting insect resistance management and the use of best management practices for corn rootworm (CRW) has provided readily accessible information at www.ncga.com/cornrootworm. The campaign also includes advertisements and editorials in local publications that include best management practices on how to help protect fields from corn rootworm.
“This type of collaboration is vital to the industry’s efforts to showcase the benefits of best management practices – such as crop rotation, scouting, and trait selection,” said John Linder, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “The industry is committed to the success of the grower. The availability of refuge in bag products and educational programs provide our growers options that help manage challenging on-farm situations, as well as durability and stewardship of the industry’s trait technologies.”