CRW refuges help prevent resistance

Published on: 13:35PM Nov 20, 2009

Caydee Savinelli


Currently, the EPA requires that growers who use traited corn hybrids include some conventional corn nearby for insect resistance management. Why is a refuge needed?


Refuges help maintain rootworm genetics that have never been exposed to Bt.  If non-exposed populations breed with exposed populations, we may delay resistance, according to some entomologists.  Refuges are designed to prevent a “survival of the fittest” situation where rootworm populations shift to those carrying a higher level of Bt tolerance. 


Of course, refuge acres still need corn rootworm protection, and growers have found options for those acres.