This marks the EPA’s first approval of an in-the-bag solution for insect refuge management, offering reduced corn rootworm refuge and a more convenient path to refuge compliance for growers.
“This decision is not only a regulatory milestone, but also great news for corn growers,” said Paul E. Schickler, president, Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. “Optimum AcreMax 1 products will offer growers increased convenience, reduced refuge and an additional tool for maximizing field-by-field productivity.”
To help deter corn pests from developing resistance to biotech traits, the U.S. EPA requires growers to plant some corn without a specific insect protection trait to serve as a “refuge.” (University of Lincoln-Nebraska has created an update of refuge requirements for 2010.)
Optimum AcreMax 1 insect protection reduces the traditional 20 percent corn rootworm refuge by half and puts it in the seed bag, eliminating the need for separate rootworm refuge while increasing the ease and flexibility of planting the corn borer refuge.
Optimum AcreMax 1 products integrate 90 percent of a Pioneer brand hybrid containing the Herculex XTRA traits which deliver above- and below-ground biotech insect protection and 10 percent of a hybrid from the same genetic family containing the Herculex I trait for above-ground insect protection and to serve as the corn rootworm refuge. All seed in the bag is herbicide tolerant.
In addition to the Optimum AcreMax 1 product registration announced April 30, the EPA also has granted Pioneer registration for Optimum AcreMax RW products, which integrate 90 percent Herculex RW seed and 10 percent of a hybrid from the same genetic family without biotech insect protection.
All seed in the bag is herbicide tolerant.
Optimum AcreMax RW products may be grown alone or in conjunction with Optimum AcreMax 1 products as a corn borer refuge.
The next-generation Optimum AcreMax 2 family of products would further maximize productivity and simplify insect refuge deployment through a refuge-in-the-bag solution for both corn rootworm and corn borer.
Optimum AcreMax 2 (link opens .pdf) insect protection products are anticipated for U.S. cultivation as early as 2012 upon regulatory approval and field testing.
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