What To Expect With SmartStax® Refuge in the Bag (RiB)

The easiest way to verify that the seed you bought is SmartStax® Refuge in the Bag (RiB) is to look for the “belly band”. All suppliers of this technology are required to print a distinct stripe on the bag near the tear strip clearly labeling it as Refuge in Bag. The stripe must cover at least three sides of the bag. In addition, Renk Seed will use different colorant for each of the components in the bag. The SmartStax® portion will be green treated and the refuge component deep blue/purple; both will use the same Accleron® seed treatment. As the grower pours seed into the planter hopper, he can instantly verify that the two components are in the bag. Remember that the refuge component is RoundupReady® and LibertyLink® (RR/LL).

Not all suppliers will be selling SmartStax® as RiB, and some varieties do not have compatible refuge
components available, especially early maturing hybrids like RK268SSTX. Please double check with your
seed supplier and read the tags and labels on your bag to be sure you know how the refuge for the
SmartStax® product you purchased will be handled. Whether planted separately as a structured refuge as in
the past or as RiB.

The biggest feature of SmartStax® technology is lowering the refuge requirement to 5%. For growers with consistently strong insect pressure, this maintains yield on more acres than the 20% refuge requirement on previous insect trait technologies. At this time, Renk Seed offers seven SmartStax® hybrids ranging in maturity from 85 to 112 day. Six of these will be sold as RiB for 2012. Most growers will need some evidence that the new SmartStax® varieties can outperform well-established triple trait hybrids on their farm. Extensive on-farm trials of the trait and the new genetics are in place as you read this and the question will be quickly answered this fall. Remember that plot results do not include refuge and report only the performance of the traited product. Key products such as RK698VT3 and RK670VT3 may return comparable yields with RK619SSTX. The clear advantage goes to the SmartStax® hybrid because 15% more acres will have insect protection compared to the older technologies.

Growers with single trait Rootworm (HXRW or YGRW) with severe Rootworm infestations may not get satisfactory control when enough Rootworm larvae survive past the first instar. The stacked trait Rootworm
events in SmartStax® hybrids have been more efficacious than the single traits from either supplier. We estimate a performance improvement up to 20% with the combined traits. With several geographies reporting heavy Rootworm pressure and multiple SmartStax® hybrids available and widely tested, we should get a strong indication at harvest just how much better SmartStax® is against this stubborn pest compared to VT3 and HXRW. This has not been a problem for Corn Borer as the Bt toxin kills them no matter the growth stage of the pest.

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