UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010: NCGA and Industry Work Together on Bt Corn Refuge Implementation

UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010: NCGA and Industry Work Together on Bt Corn Refuge Implementation

Dec. 22, 2010

To help farmers develop the right plan for refuge compliance, the National Corn Growers Association has joined with agribusiness to develop an easy-to-use Insect Resistance Management refuge calculator that represents the latest products available.

“Biotechnology is an important part of modern agriculture’s ability to sustainably meet the world’s increasing demands for food, feed and fuel,  and its proper stewardship is essential,” said Chad Blindauer, Chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “Given the benefits of Bt products, farmers and trait providers have a duty to keep this technology viable and on the market.” Bt is the abbreviation for Bacillus thuringiensis, an insect-resistance biotech trait.

In recent years, the introduction of new refuge systems has given growers more options in setting up their refuge. NCGA’s calculator was developed as a tool to clarify those options and show growers how to execute the requirements properly.

Industry experts from the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC) which is made up of representatives from Dow AgroSciences LLC, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and Syngenta Seeds Inc., were consulted in developing the new and improved calculator.

“Planting a proper refuge is critical to keeping Bt technology on the market. Growers must ensure they plant and manage a refuge for each Bt corn field they grow in accordance with EPA requirements. Growers who fail to plant a refuge risk being denied access to the technology,” says Nick Storer, Chair of the ABSTC.

The benefits of this new tool include all commercial Bt products on the market and features a trait selection process that allows farmers to run several planting scenarios on a field-by-field basis. Its updated interface and clearer planting options makes refuge calculation simpler to do. To download the NCGA calculator, please visit www.irmcalculator.com.

The refuge calculator is a tool that should be used in conjunction with the applicable seed manufacturer’s Stewardship Guide which explains acceptable refuge configurations in more detail. For additional information on planting specific corn hybrids, please consult with the appropriate manufacturer’s representative.

News Release, National Corn Growers Association

Referred by Robert Wright
UNL Extension Entomologist