The first single-bag corn refuge seed is now in the ground. A limited quantity of Monsanto’s Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete and Dow AgroSciences’ Refuge Advanced hybrids are planted in the Corn Belt. Next year, the co-developers of the technology, Monsanto and Dow, plan a full commercial launch of the single-bag refuge hybrids.

The new technology greatly simplifies refuge management. Each bag contains 95% SmartStax seed and 5% non-insect-traited seed. Growers may plant the seed in each bag across an entire field.

The growth of this seed will be widely watched through blogs, tweets and other Internet conversations. Many growers hope to use this technology to avoid planting a separate refuge. Not only does it take time and effort to change seed during planting for the refuge, the non-biotech seed often has poorer yields.

Next year, Monsanto hopes to introduce a similar product for the southern Corn Belt where corn rootworm is less of an issue. The company is waiting to receive regulatory approval for Genuity VT Double PRO RIB Complete corn.

Who sold single-bag refuge seed?
Monsanto’s corn seed brands sold the RIB product, including national brands Dekalb and Channel as well as regional brands Fontanelle, Gold Country Seed, Heritage, Hubner Seed, Jung, Kruger, Lewis, Rea, Specialty, Stewart, Stone Seed Group, and Trelay Seeds. Other licensees of Monsanto’s seed technology also had some of the product available. Growmark System, for example, announced that two FS Seed hybrids with the Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete technology were available.

Dow’s Refuge Advanced product was offered through its seed brands, including Mycogen Seeds, Brodbeck Seeds, Dairyland Seed, Pfister Seeds, Renze Seeds, and Triumph Seed.