New Systems Aids Refuge Management

Getting your 20% into the ground can be a hassle with central fill planters, but Deere offers a new solution with Refuge Plus.

Published on: Sep 8, 2005

Bt corn has been a boon to a lot of growers, enhancing production and providing added income. But the crop must be managed with the planting of non-Bt refuge to help mitigate the risk of insects developing resistance to the technology.

But there's also been a change in the planter market with larger farms moving to bulk seed handling and the use of center-fill seeding systems. In those applications, the use of a split-planter planting for refuge management becomes problematic. Most systems have two-hopper designs, but unless you're in the South where 50% Bt corn refuge is required, it's usually not practical to use the center-fill machines in this way.

Deere offers a new solution it calls Refuge Plus. With the system, which includes a third tank, the growers can plant two different hybrids at the same time. That allows for improved use of an insect resistance management strategy with a center-fill planter. The third tank - added to the Central Commodity System planters - has a 25-bushel capacity and allows planting of non-Bt corn from the same system. The tank has eight more nozzles for seed distribution to row units.

The third tank makes Refuge Plus possible. The system can also be used for seed operations by using this 25-bushel hopper to plant male rows.

That extra tank and nozzles get top utilization through a redesigned manifold that boosts air distribution. By switching out hoses the grower can control just how the refuge is set up - whether for strip planting or for other methods. And the system works well for seed planting systems where one or two male rows are interspersed between groups of female rows. And the grower doesn’t lose the efficiency of the CCS planter design.

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