Gregg Manske of Greenwood, Neb., is looking forward to an easier and more convenient planting season in 2012, at least on 25% of his corn acres. He intends to plant a single-bag refuge hybrid on those acres, what the industry refers to as Refuge-in-a-Bag.
Manske says he will avoid needing to plant a separate structured refuge, a requirement that "takes a lot of time and is a major hassle."
EPA has required a refuge of non-Bt seed in each field planted to hybrids with insect-resistant seed as a preventative measure to avoid resistance to those transgenic traits.
The most common configuration is 80/20% that meets compliance.
Manske spoke at a Monsanto briefing in Omaha recently, where company officials reviewed Genuity VT Double Pro RIB Complete. It blends 95% of the Genuity VT Double Pro seed and 5% refuge non-Bt in each bag. EPA approved this particular RIB technology last November and Monsanto is scheduling a full launch in 2012, although demand may outpace supply.
This particular hybrid package is targeted for above-ground insects, including corn borer, army worm and corn earworm. It is aimed at portions of the Corn Belt where corn rootworm is not a significant problem.
In spring 2011, Monsanto had a limited launch of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete in the northern Corn Belt, which often experiences high rootworm pressure in part due to the planting of continuous corn. It is scheduled for a full launch in 2012. It offers multiple modes of action for above- and below-ground insect protection, again in a 95/5% Bt-refuge blend.