Dow AgroSciences showcased a new refuge-in-the-bag concept at the Farm Progress Show. The concept, which is pending registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be commercialized as SmartStax Refuge Advanced and will provide a single-bag solution for refuge compliance in the U.S. Corn Belt as early as 2012.
“By adopting this complete, single-bag solution, growers will save time and reduce complexity related to refuge seed purchase, planning and planting,” says Casey Onstot, traits marketing manager for Dow AgroSciences.
Pending registration, SmartStax Refuge Advanced will be a blend of 95% SmartStax seed and 5% non-insect-traited seed. All of the seed in this single-bag solution would be tolerant to applications of glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides.
Growers who plant Bt corn hybrids are currently required to plant a separate structured refuge of non-insect-traited seed to protect the technology from potential insect resistance. SmartStax, planted for the first time this past season, allowed farmers in corn-growing areas to reduce refuge acreage from 20% to 5%.
The Dow AgroSciences Refuge-in-the-Bag Concept will ensure refuge compliance on the acres where it's planted. Growers will be able to plant a single bag of seed to control insects and meet all refuge requirements for both above- and belowground insect protection traits in the Corn Belt.
“Refuge compliance is critical — and required by law. We want to make refuge compliance simple and convenient for growers,” Onstot says. “We believe that a single-bag solution will be the best way for growers to ensure they are in compliance with refuge requirements.”
The Dow AgroSciences Refuge-in-the-Bag Concept submission is being reviewed by the EPA. Data supporting its registration was submitted to the EPA in 2009.
Upon registration, the first commercial SmartStax Refuge Advanced corn hybrids are expected to be planted in 2012 and will be offered through Dow AgroSciences’ seed affiliates, including Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Hyland Seeds, Pfister Seeds, Renze Seeds and Triumph Seed.