Refuge and the Sustainability of Trait Technology

July 26, 2022

Planting refuge is vital to sustaining the performance of trait technology.

It is important to implement an Insect Resistance Management (IRM) program including planting refuge corn acres (corn that doesn’t contain Bt traits) interspersed with or adjacent to corn acres containing Bt traits.

How Refuge Works

The refuge area provides a small place for insects like European corn borer and corn rootworm to feed, keeping them susceptible to Bt proteins due to their non-exposure. They can then mate with one of the few pests that fed on Bt-traited corn and survived. Susceptibility to Bt proteins is passed down to the offspring, helping to preserve the effectiveness of the trait as a whole.

A One Bag Solution for Northern Farmers: Refuge-in-a-Bag

Corn products that blend refuge corn seed in the bag with Bt-traited corn seed, like SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend offer farmers an advantage. Farmers don’t need to plant a separate refuge plot or switch seed in their planter, and it complies with EPA requirements for refuge in corn growing areas.

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