Seed World

Report Shows Farmers Planting More RIB

Today, the National Corn Growers Association reported that the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) is seeing strong success and an increase in the overall number of growers planting corn refuge and integrated refuge products.
Designed to improve compliance with insect-resistance management requirements, CAP includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey and IRM education and awareness.
The Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), a consortium of Bt corn registrants, submits an annual CAP report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describing industry-coordinated compliance assurance efforts for Bt traits. Survey highlights show a strong adoption of integrated refuge products.
“We are pleased to see that the number of growers planting integrated refuge products on their entire farming operation has more than tripled this year and the percent of those who planted exclusively integrated product increased from 18 percent in 2013 to 47 percent in 2014,” says Mark Kimm, ABSTC IRM subcommittee co-chair. “Also, an additional 27 percent are planting at least one integrated product.”
In 2014, 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. The survey also indicated that the percentage of growers not planting any refuge acres continues to be low.
The ABSTC promotes 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 the use of best management practices for corn rootworm (CRW) was initiated.  The campaign includes advertisements and editorials in local publications on practices to help protect fields from CRW.