UNL CropWatch April 20, 2011: Bt Corn Updates

UNL CropWatch April 20, 2011: Bt Corn Updates

April 20, 2011

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The options for Bt corn hybrids continue to increase, and because of that the Insect Resistance Management (IRM) plans associated with different hybrids are changing. Following are two updates for this spring. There will likely be additional changes announced in 2011 as new products are approved. See What's New for Bt Corn in 2011, Crop Watch, for additional information on current characteristics and IRM plans for Bt corn hybrids.

Pioneer Optimum Intrasect®

In February 2011, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, announced that it received approval for Optimum® Intrasect insect protection, a system that could allow corn growers in the U.S. and Canada to significantly reduce their structured above-ground refuge. Optimum Intrasect insect protection offers dual mode above ground insect protection (Cry 1F; Herculex® I and Cry1Ab; YieldGard® Corn Borer) and reduced refuge requirements. In late 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended the registration for the U.S. Corn Belt, reducing the structured refuge from 20% to 5%.

For 2011, Pioneer Hi-Bred will have wide-scale, on-farm demonstrations of Optimum® Intrasect hybrids across North America. Growers will have the opportunity to view product performance and the benefits of reduced, structured refuge. For more information about Optimum® Intrasect insect protection, visit pioneer.com/CMRoot/Pioneer/US/products/intrasect.pdf.

Pioneer has submitted an application for approval of its next generation single-bag integrated refuge offerings, Optimum® AcreMax for above-ground protection and Optimum® AcreMax Xtra for above- and below-ground protection.

Monsanto Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™

Earlier this month, Monsanto’s Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ received EPA registration. This completes federal regulatory authorization in the United States. Commercialization is pending individual state authorizations and notifications, as required.

Monsanto has announced a full-scale commercial launch of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete for the 2012 season. This is the first single-bag refuge product to receive all the regulatory approvals needed for commercialization in the U. S.

Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete is a blend of 95% Genuity SmartStax corn seed and 5% refuge (non-Bt) seed that farmers can plant across their entire field. This means that farmers who plant Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete products no longer need to plant a separate, structured refuge for above- or below-ground pests in the Corn Belt. For farmers who purchase Genuity SmartStax without the RIB Complete, the structured refuge is still required.

Monsanto previously announced that up to 100 Genuity SmartStax hybrids across multiple brands would be available for the 2012 selling season. With the approval of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete, Monsanto expects that the bulk of Genuity SmartStax hybrids will be in the RIB option.

Bob Wright
Extension Entomolgoist, Lincoln