What is in this article?:
Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS, Bugwood.org
- All farmers planting corn with a Bt-RW trait are legally required to follow an Insect Resistance Management (IRM) plan.
- Unfortunately in 2011, 41% of 3,053 farmers who were inspected failed to properly comply with refuge rules, according to the Ag Biotech Stewardship Technical Committee. In 2012, data just released show only a very slight improvement over last year, with 77% grower adherence to rootworm refuge size requirements (was 72%) and 62% grower adherence to rootworm refuge distance requirements (was 61%).
- Three-year University of Illinois research explored the western corn rootworm emergence, movement and mating habits that compared block refuges (20% and 5%) with refuge in a bag (5% refuge in a bag (RIB)) field mix and zero refuge. Data suggest that a seed blend is superior to block refuges for moving and mixing mate-seeking Western corn rootworm. Intrafield movement in block refuge fields is poor compared to expectations from literature.
- Two internationally respected entomologists, Bruce Tabashnik and Fred Gould, University of Arizona and North Carolina State respectively, have urged the EPA to consider increasing the minimum refuge to 50% for plants producing one Bt protein against rootworms, and 20% refuge for plants producing two rootworm Bt proteins (see http://bit.ly/YtK06O).