Report Shows Increased Refuge Compliance

2/9/2013 7:00 AM

ST. LOUIS — The National Corn Growers Association has announced that the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program, which includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey and education efforts, is seeing an increase in the number of growers planting corn refuges.

The program is designed to improve compliance with insect resistance management requirements.

The Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee, a consortium of Bt corn registrants, submits an annual compliance report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describing industry-coordinated compliance efforts for Bt traits.

In 2011, the committee launched a new on-farm assessment program that focuses more assessments on growers who may not have sufficient refuge seed according to their purchase records.

“The on-farm assessment process has proven to be an effective mechanism to identify Bt corn growers who are not following refuge requirements and provide assistance so that they can achieve compliance,” said Mike Smith, c-chairman of the committee’s insect resistance management subcommittee. “The vast majority of growers found out of compliance in 2011 were found to be complying with the IRM requirements during the 2012 season.”

In addition to on-farm assessments, an anonymous grower survey was conducted. Highlights of the survey indicate a decrease in the percentage of growers not planting any refuge acres and strong adoption of integrated refuge products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or seed box.

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