Responding to U.S. corn farmers' requests to simplify insect resistance management, Monsanto Company announced today that it has submitted for registration to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency a 5% refuge-in-the-bag (RIB) option for Genuity VT Double PRO corn. Upon registration, a RIB option for Genuity VT Double PRO corn would provide farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt with the convenience of planting one bag containing both Bt seed and refuge seed.
The simplicity of a RIB product would allow farmers in the Corn Belt to plant one corn product across their entire field without the burden of planting and managing a separate, lower-yielding refuge. The data package is the second RIB submission the company has presented to the EPA for registration. The agency is currently reviewing Monsanto's RIB application for Genuity SmartStax corn, submitted in December 2009. Pending registrations, the company expects to have both RIB product options commercially available to farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt for the 2012 growing season.
"Bt corn has revolutionized U.S. corn production. However, the majority of Bt corn products today contain a single mode of action for insect control and require a structured non-Bt corn refuge of 20 percent for resistance management in the Corn Belt," said Jerry Hjelle, Monsanto Vice President of Global Regulatory. "Planting a structured refuge limits yield potential and is inconvenient. Upon registration by EPA, Genuity VT Double PRO will be the first dual mode of action product for aboveground insect-protection with a convenient 5% single-bag refuge solution."
The dual modes of action in Genuity VT Double PRO (MON 89034 × NK603) provide protection from the European corn borer, southwestern corn borer, fall armyworm, and corn earworm, while offering tolerance to Roundup agricultural herbicides. As such, the technology is the first dual mode of action product on the market to include a reduced structured refuge option at 5% in the Corn Belt for above-ground pests, protecting more of a farmer's field from pest damage that reduces yields. The percentage of refuge acres varies based on specific geography, but in general the required structured refuge for Bt corn products has been 20% in the Corn Belt and 50% in the Cotton Belt.
A 5% RIB solution for Genuity VT Double PRO would improve planting convenience and assure grower compliance with refuge requirements thereby helping protect the long-term durability of Bt technology. Upon registration by EPA, the 5% single-bag refuge option of Genuity VT Double PRO will offer the most convenient refuge implementation option available to growers who desire a product without the below-ground rootworm Bt protection offered by Genuity SmartStax.
"Today, farmers are reaping the benefits of increased yields through Monsanto's Genuity family of reduced refuge corn products," Hjelle said. "Monsanto continues to invest in research and technology to provide farmers with greater solutions for refuge simplicity and compliance. A 5% RIB solution for Genuity VT Double PRO is the next step in that commitment to growers. "