Seed World

Solution For Simplified Refuge


Seed companies have developed innovative “in-the-bag” solutions that are providing a simpler way to handle corn refuge acres.

Corn growers in the U.S. have to keep track of mandated corn refuge acres for insect management, but there is constant worry that some aren’t in compliance, jeopardizing the longer-term value of Bt technology.

However, help is on the way with what seed companies are calling “refuge in a bag.” The concept is to combine biotech and refuge seeds in one bag as a way for growers to benefit from new seed technology and meet standards without planting special structured areas in a field to non-Bt corn.

The first player to offer the refuge in a bag solution is Pioneer Hi-Bred with its Optimum AcreMax 1 insect protection for the company’s corn hybrids. In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted the historic commercial registration of AcreMax 1, marking the EPA’s first approval of an in-the-bag solution for insect refuge management. According to the company, the product offers reduced corn rootworm refuge and a more convenient path to refuge compliance for growers.

“This decision is not only a regulatory milestone, but also great news for corn growers,” said Paul Schickler, President of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, in a press release. “Optimum AcreMax 1 products will offer growers increased convenience, reduced refuge and an additional tool for maximizing field-by-field productivity.”

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