Don't Be Confused By RIB Announcements

Last week Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences each announced they've been granted regulatory approval to market their new refuge-in-a-bag Bt seed corn products. Keep in mind these represent two separate product registrations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

On April 11, 2011 Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences each announced they've received regulatory approval to market their new refuge-in-a-bag Bt seed corn products. Keep in mind these approvals represent two separate product registrations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There is some confusion among farmers and others regarding last week's announcement.

Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete (RIB is refuge in a bag) is Monsanto's and Refuge Advanced is from Dow AgroSciences. The products are the result of a collaboration between the two companies to develop the products. Following is the announcement information from each company, explaining their product.

Monsanto completes U.S. regulatory registration for Genuity Smartstax RIB Complete. Full-scale commercial launch is on-track for 2012 of next major offering in Monsanto's Genuity reduced-refuge corn product family.

U.S. farmers in the Corn Belt can now choose the simplicity, convenience and refuge compliance benefits of the industry's first, single-bag refuge solution for corn. Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete by Monsanto Company has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This completes federal regulatory authorization in the U.S. Commercialization is pending individual state authorizations and notifications, as required.

The EPA approval enables a full-scale commercial launch of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete for the 2012 season. As the industry's first single-bag refuge solution, Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete is a major new product catalyst in Monsanto's Genuity Reduced-Refuge corn family. 

With the convenience of the single-bag solution, Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete provides a step change in new value Monsanto can deliver U.S. farmers. With the approval coming in the first half of 2011 and with the previous investment in Monsanto seed-production capability, the bulk of available Genuity SmartStax corn in 2012 is expected to be offered as a RIB product to meet farmer interest. Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete will launch in Monsanto's national and regional seed brands, as well as licensee partners.

"We're committed to developing products that help improve farmers' productivity. Farmers have told us they want a true, single-bag refuge solution, and this registration enables Monsanto to deliver," says Brett Begemann, Monsanto's chief commercial officer and executive vice president. "This is a new level of value that hasn't existed to date, as Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn simplifies refuge management by eliminating the structured refuge, which can contribute to timely, more-efficient planting and on-farm productivity."

The product is the outcome of a collaboration between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.  It is a combination of each company's industry-leading corn traits that provide farmers with multiple modes-of-action for broad spectrum control of above- and below-ground insects, and also offers two herbicide tolerance traits for flexible weed management. This registration of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete provides farmers in the Corn Belt with the opportunity to plant a single-bag refuge solution for corn.

Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete is a blend of 95% Genuity SmartStax corn seed and 5% refuge (non-Bt) seed that farmers can plant across their entire field. This means that farmers who plant Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete products no longer need to plant a separate, structured refuge for above- or below-ground pests in the Corn Belt. For farmers who purchase Genuity SmartStax without the RIB Complete, the structured refuge is still required.

Monsanto's 2012 full-scale commercial launch and ramp-up

Monsanto previously projected the ramp up to approximately 100 Genuity SmartStax hybrids across multiple brands for the 2012 selling season. With the approval of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete, Monsanto expects that the bulk of available Genuity SmartStax hybrids will be offered in the convenience of a RIB option to farmers. Monsanto has previously completed the infrastructure investments in its seed production to ensure a full-scale commercial launch of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete in 2012.

"This is a product that will truly simplify the management of my operation and improve my peace-of-mind at the same time," says Greene, Iowa, farmer Ron Litterer. "In order to be refuge compliant on my Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete fields, all I'll have to do is tear open the bag and pour the seed into my planter.  That will allow me to plant the most traited acres in every field, while complying with refuge requirements."

In corn farming, a refuge is an integral component of insect resistance management. The refuge provides a shelter for insects susceptible to Bt technology so that any rare individual insects that survive after feeding on Bt corn can mate with susceptible insects and produce susceptible offspring. This preserves Bt technology that helps corn plants protect themselves from insect pests. For downloadable audio, photographs and more, visit the press kit on Monsanto's website.

Dow AgroSciences receives registration for Refuge Advanced. This seed corn product, named Refuge Advanced, is powered by SmartStax. Refuge Advanced is Dow's refuge-in-the-bag concept.

U.S. farmers in the Corn Belt can now choose the simplicity, convenience and refuge compliance benefits of the industry's first single-bag refuge solution for corn. Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced, powered by SmartStax, has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This completes federal regulatory authorization in the U.S. Commercialization is pending individual state authorizations and notifications, as required. 

The product is the outcome of a collaboration between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. It is a combination of each company's industry-leading corn traits that provide farmers with multiple modes of action for broad spectrum control of above- and below-ground insects, and also offers two herbicide tolerance traits for flexible weed management. This registration of Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax provides farmers with the opportunity to plant a single-bag refuge solution for corn. 

Refuge Advanced is a blend of 95% SmartStax corn seed and 5% refuge (non-Bt) seed farmers can plant across their entire field. Thus, farmers who plant Refuge Advanced products no longer need to plant a separate, structured refuge for above- or below-ground pests in the Corn Belt.For farmers who've purchased SmartStax without Refuge Advanced, the structured refuge is still required. 

"Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax is the most convenient, simple solution to ensure refuge compliance, and it's only available from Dow AgroSciences seed brands," says Casey Onstot, traits marketing manager for Dow AgroSciences. "The premium seed blend saves time by allowing growers in the Corn Belt to plant a single product across the entire field. They won't have to change out refuge seed in planter boxes, handle insecticide boxes, or plant any separate structured refuge for above- or below-ground insects on those acres planted with Refuge Advanced." 

Consistent seed blending is a feature of Refuge Advanced

The proprietary seed blending process for Refuge Advanced ensures that refuge hybrids will be evenly distributed across the field. The weight and size of refuge seed is matched to the SmartStaxseed, helping to maintain an even blend in the bag throughout packaging and distribution.

"Consistent blending in the bag delivers consistent distribution of both SmartStax and refuge seeds during planting," says Onstot. "This prevents formation of 'hot spots' due to large clusters of refuge plants in one area of the field."  

In each bag of Refuge Advanced, a SmartStax hybrid is blended with an agronomically equivalent refuge hybrid, so refuge plants will look similar to the traited plants for a uniform stand. Both SmartStax and refuge seeds are subjected to the same rigid quality control processes, for consistent germination and performance.

Meets IRM (insect resistance management) requirements

"By providing a blend of SmartStax and non-insect traited seed all in one bag, Refuge Advanced ensures refuge compliance in the Corn Belt on the acres where it is planted," emphasizes Onstot. Multiple years of testing with the SmartStax  trait have demonstrated that Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStax provides an effective refuge management strategy, preventing the development of insect resistance."

In the past, growers planting Bt corn hybrids have been required to plant a separate structured refuge of non-insect-traited seed to protect the traits from potential insect resistance. SmartStax, planted for the first time in 2010, allows farmers in corn-growing areas to reduce refuge acreage from 20% to 5 percent.Now, with Refuge Advanced, the required 5% refuge is in the bag, Onstot says. 

By complying with Insect Resistance Management guidelines, growers help protect the durability of all insect resistance traits and preserve the technology for future generations. "Refuge Advanced is another example of an innovative technology from Dow AgroSciences to help growers maximize their whole-farm yield potential and make IRM compliance simple," adds Onstot.

Refuge Advanced will be offered only through Dow AgroSciences seed brands, including Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Pfister Seeds, Renze Seeds, and Triumph Seed. Dow AgroSciences expects a full commercial launch with a broad lineup of hybrids for sale for 2012 planting. Learn more about Dow AgroSciences Refuge Advanced powered by SmartStaxat www.refugeadvanced.com. View a video about Refuge Advanced.

TAGS: Regulatory
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