Refuge-in-a-bag (RIB) products continue to simplify how growers meet refuge requirements in the Corn Belt. In a survey by the Compliance Assurance Program (CAP), many growers surveyed in the Corn Belt planted exclusively RIB products, while all planted at least one refuge in a bag product. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with the continued increase in use of RIB products.
The Compliance Assurance Program, implemented by the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), is designed to improve compliance and includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey, IRM education and awareness.
“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.
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. 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.”
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