Crop Biotech Update

Refuge-in-a bag Product, a Better Stewardship Option

April 20, 2011

Refuge-in-a-bag product is the current strategy to delay build-up of insect resistance to the Bt protein. This is an important strategy since about 65% of the planted corn in the US is Bt hybrid. The product contains 90 percent Bt corn seed with 10 percent non-Bt ‘refuge' bag. Farmers can plant all the seed together so that in the field, refuge corn is interspersed in the field with Bt corn.

Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist, said "Refuge corn dilutes the genetic traits that made them survive with susceptible ones from insects that fed on non-Bt corn and, therefore, should be susceptible." He added that "The other advantages with having Bt and refuge plants mixed together in a field is that you get the rootworm beetles closer together, which facilitates matings between beetles that might be Bt resistant and those that are susceptible from the refuge."

More information on this news can be seen at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/outreach/2011/110413KrupkeRefuge.html.