Latest Bt Corn Approval by EPA includes 5% Refuge In the Bag

Latest Bt Corn Approval by EPA includes 5% Refuge In the Bag

Eileen Cullen, Extension Entomologist

The EPA recently approved a 5% refuge-in-the-bag (RIB) Bt Corn.  This registration is a licensing agreement between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences.  Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ (Monsanto) and REFUGE ADVANCED™Powered by SmartStax® (Dow AgroSciences) are both a blend of 95% Genuity SmartStax corn seed (GENSS) and 5% refuge (non-Bt) seed that farmers can plant across the field as a seed blend. No structured refuge is required. These two 5% RIB Bt corn hybrid options will be available for limited planting in 2011, with full-scale commercialization in 2012.

Remember, for 2011 SmartStax (Dow AgroSciences) without REFUGE ADVANCED™ and Genuity SmartStax (Monsanto) both still require a 5% structured refuge planted in rows within the field or as an adjacent block.  In 2012, you will likely see Genuity SmartStax (GENSS) offered exclusively as a 5% RIB Complete product from Monsanto. My understanding is that Dow AgroSciences will continue to offer both SmartStax as a 5% structured refuge, and REFUGE ADVANCED Powered by SmartStax as a 5% RIB product.

Another new Bt corn registration is Agrisure Viptera 3220 (Syngenta), containing three above ground traits. Two of the three traits (Cry1Ab and Cry1F) are pyramided and stacked with a third trait (Vip3A). The pyramided traits allow a 5% structured refuge to be planted in rows within the field, or as a block up to ½-mile away.

A previous Wisconsin Crop Manager newsletter article provides information on pyramided vs. stacked traits and explains the concepts behind EPA registration of reduced structured refuge percentage and refuge-in-the-bag.

Chris DiFonzo, Extension Entomologist, Michigan State University, and I have updated the ‘Handy Bt Trait Table’ publication to reflect the new Bt corn registrations explained in today’s article.

Click here to access the latest update (April 2011) of the MSU/UW-Extension ‘Handy Bt Trait Table’ to keep track of Bt corn registrations, insect pests controlled and suppressed, and refuge percentage and location (structured or in the bag) heading into the 2011 growing season.