The Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee, a consortium of Bt corn registrants, reports that corn IRM compliance for the 2010 growing season remained unchanged from 2009 and the compliance assurance programs for corn borer-protected, corn rootworm-protected, and corn borer/corn rootworm-protected stacked Bt corn continue to be effective. In 2010, the majority of growers surveyed planted the required size of refuge on their farms and the majority of growers surveyed planted a refuge within the required distance for all of their Bt corn fields.
For this year, new Environmental Protection Agency mandated requirements are a part of the Bt corn re-registration process. The Bt corn registrants are incorporating these new requirements into their Compliance Assurance Programs for the 2011 growing season. The requirements include on-farm refuge compliance assessments; growers found to be out of compliance now have a higher probability of losing access to Bt corn; and seed bag tags will better depict refuge size requirements.
Chad Blindauer, Chair of the National Corn Growers Association's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, says biotechnology is an important part of modern agriculture's ability to sustainably meet the worlds increasing demands for food, feed and fuel. Given the benefits of Bt products, farmers and trait providers have a duty to ensure proper stewardship to keep this technology viable and on the market.