Insect Resistance Management for Bt Corn: An Assessment of Community Refuge Schemes
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Because of Bt corn's efficacy in controlling European corn borer, farmers are required to implement an insect resistance management (IRM) program that constrains each farmer to plant no more than 80% of the farm s corn to Bt varieties. This refuge must be planted within a half-mile of Bt corn and must be contained on the same farm. Community refuge schemes, those which allow the refuge area to be planted on a neighboring farm, have been proposed. In this analysis, we estimate the potential gains to all farms in the community in two representative locations: Pennsylvania and Iowa. The results of a decision analysis model show that the potential gains are very small; the greatest is only $652 over a 2000-acre community ($0.33 per acre). This gain would almost certainly be offset by the costs of developing such a community.
AgBioForum, 9(3), 2006: 129-138.