The 2012 survey was the first year integrated refuge products were included, and 50% of growers indicated they planted an integrated refuge product on their farm. ABSTC projects that the adoption of integrated products will continue to increase, contributing to the overall increase in compliance, which helps preserve Btcorn technology durability.

Roger Zylstra, a grower from Lynnville, Iowa, planted integrated refuge products on his farm last season.

“Planting integrated refuge products is a very convenient way to manage my corn acres,” says Zylstra. “It’s simple, saves time, is the responsible thing to do for Bttrait durability, and eliminates any refuge compliance questions giving me peace of mind.”

“We’re pleased to see the strong adoption of integrated refuge products by growers coupled with the overall decline in growers not planting refuge acres,” says Jim Zimmerman, Chairman of the NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “The vast majority of corn growers have always followed refuge requirements to help protect the efficacy of this important technology, but all growers must follow these requirements to help preserve the long-term value of this technology.”

The ABSTC continues to promote education programs and strategies to preserve the efficacy of Bt technology. As part of these efforts, all seed registrants have incorporated prominent graphics illustrating the required refuge size of the seed product on the seed bag or bag tag. In addition, the ABSTC continues to partner with NCGA to ensure that NCGA’s membership and networks are fully informed of refuge requirements and the CAP. One collaborative example is the NCGA IRM calculator.  Farmers can access the IRM calculator via computer, tablet or a smart phone by simply logging on to www.irmcalculator.com.

Activities under the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program continue to promote refuge compliance and help preserve the Bt corn technology. Industry and grower commitment to Btcorn product stewardship is further demonstrated through the implementation of the enhanced CAP and rapid adoption of integrated refuge products in the Corn Belt. With the introduction of integrated refuge products, growers have an additional choice in adhering to refuge requirements.