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Issue No. 7, Article 2/May 9, 2008

Insect Resistance Management Program on DTN

On May 2, Greg Horstmeier, DTN (Data Transmission Network) production editor, emceed a 50-minute program about insect resistance management (IRM) on WebEx. Approximately 50 people listened to the live program, which was recorded and can be accessed on-line. Presenters were Kevin Steffey, extension entomologist at the University of Illinois; Nick Storer of Dow AgroSciences, chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee; and Martin Barbre, corn grower near Carmi, Illinois, and chair of the National Corn Growers Association Biotech Working Group. Topics discussed included the following:

  • Background and rationale for non-Bt corn refuges in an IRM strategy
  • Past and current use of Bt corn
  • Explanation of the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee
  • Specific refuge requires for corn borer Bt corn, corn rootworm Bt corn, and "stacked" hybrids
  • IRM Compliance Assurance Plan
  • Statistics about compliance by planting non-Bt corn refuges
  • RM education by the National Corn Growers Association (resistance management e-learning, instructor-led training, and self-running instructor-led training)

The program concluded with a brief question-and-answer session.

Educators and scientists with land-grant universities and seed companies have for years emphasized the importance of and need for IRM strategies for Bt corn. Since the mid-1990s, the NCGA has been involved in the education process, and they have done a stellar job emphasizing the importance of IRM and making information readily and easily accessible. During the rainy weather while waiting for corn planting to resume, take an hour or so to refresh your knowledge about IRM for Bt corn. Implementation of IRM strategies is in everyone's best long-term interests.--Kevin Steffey

Kevin Steffey

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