Two additional seed production sites for Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax have been certified under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Accredited Seed Conditioning Program (ASCP). The two sites, at Marshalltown, Iowa and York, Neb., achieved certification after a rigorous USDA auditing process.

In April 2011, Dow AgroSciences achieved the nation's first ASCP certification for its Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax production facility at Grand Ridge, Ill.

"Having ASCP certification at three production sites allows us to provide customers with a premium refuge-in-the-bag product. The process gives us great confidence that Refuge Advanced products meet or exceed regulatory and seed industry standards," says Michael Joseph, lead quality manager for Seed Production at Dow AgroSciences.

To qualify for this program, Dow AgroSciences has complied with stringent USDA criteria for Refuge Advanced seed blending as well as meeting the USDA's Process Verified Program standards. Requirements include conducting trait purity checks on component seed lots, as well as maintaining standard operating procedures for the seed-blending process, including traceability, conditioning flow and product carryover procedures. The company must calibrate blending and weighing equipment and maintain records for seed blend products, making records available for USDA review. The USDA performed an audit to determine compliance with these requirements.

Refuge Advanced contains a blend of 95 percent high-yielding SmartStax seeds and 5 percent high-quality non-insect-traited refuge seeds. It is a single-bag solution with no separate refuge required in the Corn Belt. While developing Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax, Dow AgroSciences consulted with growers on the key attributes they were looking for in a refuge-in-the-bag product.

"This additional certification reinforces our commitment to quality, blending accuracy and uniform distribution of the refuge seed in each and every unit sold," says Cole Hansen, Dow AgroSciences traits marketing manager. "The process required for this accreditation helps ensure we are meeting our customers' expectations."

This accreditation is further evidence of the commitment of Dow AgroSciences to innovation and delivering high-quality products with the latest technology. Information regarding the USDA's Accredited Seed Conditioning Program and the Process Verified Program can be found at Accredited Seed Programs.

This video explains the proprietary seed-blending process used by Dow AgroSciences to manufacture Refuge Advanced.

For more information on Refuge Advanced, contact your Dow AgroSciences seed affiliate sales representative or go to www.refugeadvanced.com.