A new report from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) shows an increase in both the overall number of growers planting their corn refuge and integrated refuge products. This news release from the group says as part of the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program (CAP), there’s been a strong adoption of integrated refuge products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or container.
“We are pleased to see that the number of growers planting integrated refuge products on their entire farming operation has more than tripled this year and the percent of those who planted exclusively integrated product increased from 18 percent in 2013 to 47 percent in 2014. Also, an additional 27 percent are planting at least one integrated product,” said Mark Kimm, [Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee Insect Resistance Management] subcommittee co-chair.
ABSTC projects that the adoption of integrated products will continue to increase, contributing to the overall increase in compliance, which helps preserve Bt corn technology durability.
The survey showed that most growers are in compliance with 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.
“This type of collaboration is vital to the industry’s efforts to showcase the benefits of best management practices – such as crop rotation 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 introduction of integrated refuge products and educational programs provide our grower’s options that help manage challenging on-farm situations, as well as durability and stewardship of the industry’s trait technologies.”