, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor
Corn hybrids containing the new trait platform called SmartStax get the opportunity to reduce crop insurance premiums in 2010.
U.S. farmers who plant corn hybrids containing SmartStax, a multievent technology developed by Monsanto Company and Dow AgroSciences, in 2010 will be eligible to reduce their crop insurance premium rate as part of the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement program through the USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
The Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement lowers crop insurance premium rates in 2010 for irrigated and nonirrigated corn farmers who meet the program eligibility requirements and plant certain qualifying hybrids in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Growers in these states will also be able to reduce their insect refuge to 5% through the use of SmartStax.
The cost of a total producer-paid premium during the 2008 pilot program was reduced on average by more than $3 per acre. Total savings for participating growers within the four-state pilot geography in 2008 is estimated to be nearly $25 million.
To be eligible for the rate reduction, at least 75% of total insured corn acres, including replanted acres, on a unit basis must be corn for grain planted to eligible hybrids.