Recently a study found that 40% of corn farmers were not following the refuge requirements of Bt trait corn. Stewardship guidelines are in place for a reason yet farmers are not playing along the way they should be. Many farmers complain of yield drag and not wanting to comprise yield at all by planting a non-Bt variety. Another argument used was that farmers hated the nuisance of loading the planter with two different varieties.
With the advent of SmartStax, the industry has decided to fix the situation by going to refuge in a bag. Now farmers will purchase their corn genetics and the refuge will already be blended into the bag. No room for excuses now. The other huge benefit of refuge in a bag is the refuge requirement to manage the trait will decrease from 20% to 5%. This means less yield drag in badly infested areas.
At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, Steve Denys, Pride Seeds discusses the power of refuge in a bag and why the industry is a big believer in the solutions it provides. Like me you may come away from the interview with the thought, “why did refuge in a bag take so long.”
If you cannot see the embedded video below, click here.