Pioneer Hi-Bred has received EPA approval of Optimum Intrasect insect protection, a product that combines the corn borer protection traits of Herculex I and YieldGard. The new trait allows producers to reduce the structured refuge requirement for corn borer from 20% to 5%.

This is the next step in Pioneer’s development of refuge-in-a-bag products. The company anticipates regulatory approval of its single-bag refuge products — Optimum AcreMax (aboveground insect protection) and Optimum AcreMax Xtra (above- and belowground insect protection) in advance of the 2012 growing season.

"Optimum Intrasect hybrids give growers more options to meet their specific insect control needs to protect yields against damage from aboveground insects," says Bill Belzer, senior marketing manager for corn at Pioneer. "These products offer growers additional choices to help reduce refuge, maximize yields and preserve valuable Bt technology."

The company will have on-farm demonstration plots of Optimum Intrasect corn hybrids for the 2011 growing season. The technology is still awaiting regulatory approval from key exporting countries.