As producers start making planting decisions and seed purchases for 2008, the National Corn Growers Association wants to remind them of the need to plan for refuge acreage.
"Since the introduction of biotech traits, the vast majority of corn growers have taken the appropriate measures and planted refuge acreage in order to protect the efficacy of this important technology," said Martin Barbre, chairman of the NCGA's Biotechnology Working Group and a grower from Carmi, Ill. "As the popularity and yield benefits from the use of these technologies increases, it is more important than ever for farmers to follow the refuge requirements."
The Environmental Protection Agency requires a 20% refuge for biotech corn borer and corn rootworm traits in northern states and 50% in southern states because of biotech cotton for those traits. Planting refuge acres is an important part of an Insect Resistance Management plan that will prevent development of resistance to current products and help ensure the success of future biotech traits.
"Plan your refuge this fall while you are placing your 2008 seed order to ensure access to refuge hybrids that complement the biotech hybrids you will plant," Barbre said. "There are a number of options available to protecting refuge against insect pests, including field placement, seed treatments and soil-applied insecticides."
For information about refuge requirements, IRM plans and an interactive tutorial, click HERE.