THE National Corn Growers Assn. announced last week that the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) is seeing strong success.
The program, which includes on-farm refuge assessments, an online survey and insect resistance management (IRM) education and awareness, has documented an increase in both the overall number of growers planting proper corn refuge and use of integrated refuge products.
CAP aims to improve compliance with IRM requirements. The Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC), a consortium of Bt corn registrants, submits an annual CAP report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describing industry-coordinated compliance assurance efforts for Bt traits.
Highlights of the survey indicate a strong adoption of integrated refuge products, which include Bt and refuge seed interspersed in a single bag or container.
"We are pleased to see that the number of growers planting integrated refuge products on their entire farming operation has more than tripled this year and the percent of those who planted at least one integrated product increased from 50% in 2012 to 75% in 2013," said Mike Smith, co-chairman of the ABSTC IRM subcommittee.
ABSTC projects that the adoption of integrated products will continue to increase, thus contributing to the overall increase in compliance, which helps preserve the durability of Bt corn technology.
In 2013, the majority of growers surveyed planted the required refuge size on their farms and planted it within the required distance for all of their Bt corn fields. Furthermore, the survey found that the percentage of growers not planting any refuge acres continues to be less than 10%.