Apr 28Refuge Refresher
Many hybrids include the Refuge in Bag technology, where the non-Bt refuge seed is blended into the bag at the time of processing. RIB makes compliance for refuge requirements quick and easy. If you are using a hybrid that is not RIB, you must be sure you are following proper refuge requirements. Out of the 25 hybrids with Bt traits that Maizex offers for sale in 2014, 5 hybrids do not have Refuge In Bag technology.
If you are using a non-RIB hybrid, then you need to plant a structured refuge in a block or strips. These refuge blocks or strips do not have the Bt gene and therefore prevent pests from developing resistance. Ensuring we always follow refuge requirements will keep our technology effective, which is essential to protect yield. If the product you are using has only one mode of action to control pests, you will need to plant 20% refuge. New seed technologies with multiple modes of action provide additional protection and allow you to reduce the structured refuge down to 5 or 10%, depending on the trait you are using.
Some of the benefits of using RIB technology are up to 15% more acres can be planted with bio-tech traits, and planter efficiency gains associated with the convenience of planting RIB products. These benefits provide higher farm yields, and reduced production costs and environmental loading due to alternative insecticide applications.
The “Handy BT Trait Table” created by Chris DiFonzo, Michigan State University and Eileen Cullen, University of Wisconsin, goes through all the different traits, as well as the refuge requirements. Seed guides should have information on how to structure your refuge.
Please be sure to follow the proper refuge requirements so we can all continue to benefit from the technology.
Laura Johnston, CCA-ON, Maizex Seeds Yield Specialist, West Elgin County