Last fall the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated new requirements as part of the Bt corn re-registration process in order to improve Bt corn refuge compliance.
The following requirements will be incorporated into Bt corn registrants Compliance Assurance Programs for the 2011 growing season:
on-farm refuge compliance assessments will be conducted by an independent third-party and will be focused on areas of highest risk of insect pest resistance development and growers who did not buy sufficient refuge seed from the Bt corn registrant; growers found to be out of compliance with the refuge requirements (i) now have a higher probability of losing access to Bt corn if compliance is not established and maintained and (ii) will be checked more frequently by the Bt corn registrants; seed bag tags will better depict refuge size requirements.
As planting season approaches, Missouri Corn encourages all Bt corn growers to develop an IRM plan for their farm.
In addition to information provided by seed dealers, the National Corn Growers Association has launched an IRM calculator to help clarify refuge system options and demonstrate how to execute the requirements properly. The calculator is available at www.irmcalculator.com.