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Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

Refuge requirement

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEW TECHNOLOGIES

WITH NEW TRANSGENIC Bt corn products on the market from Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, farmers need to be aware of changing refuge requirements in their field.

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Planting refuge, a percentage of your field with non-Bt transgenic varieties, helps reduce the risk of insects developing resistance to Bt corn and is required by law through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Currently, there is a refuge requirement of 20 percent for all Bt corn products, except the new SmartStax corn, which has a requirement of five percent refuge.

INSECT RESISTANCE MANAGEMENT (IRM) REQUIREMENTS FOR SMARTSTAX CORN:

  • Five percent refuge: When planting SmartStax hybrids, plant up to 95 percent of total corn acres with SmartStax technologies on each field and plant at least five percent of the total corn acres in each field with a corn hybrid that does not contain a Bt technology. The refuge hybrid may contain traits for herbicide tolerance.
  • Refuge location: The refuge must be planted within the same field as the SmartStax hybrids or directly adjacent to that field. The adjacent field must have the same crop rotation history if used as the refuge.
  • Refuge configuration: The refuge must be planted within the same field as the SmartStax hybrids or directly adjacent to that field. The adjacent field must have the same crop rotation history if used as the refuge.
  • Mixing seed is not permitted. There are no currently registered “refuge in the bag” products in Canada or the U.S.
  • Insecticidal seed or soil treatments may be applied to refuge and non-refuge corn at the registered rates for management of corn rootworm. Insecticide use for adult rootworm control is not permitted.

Again, all other currently registered Bt corn products require a 20 percent refuge. The minimum five percent refuge only applies to SmartStax corn.

For more information, please visit the Canadian Corn Pest Coalition at www.cornpest.ca. •

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