David Owens, Extension Entomologist, firstname.lastname@example.org
There are numerous artificial but extremely helpful traits in field corn. It can be a bit confusing though to keep track of all the traits, what they are used for, and the regulations involved in planting refugia for the insect traits. I can’t stress the importance of the refuge requirement enough. Refuge is critical to ensure the durability of these traits and prevent insect resistance. One entomologist calls it “resistance insurance.” Many seed companies are now offering refuge-in-bag (RIB) products, meaning that a certain percentage of the seed is not genetically modified. There is some concern that resistance management is not as robust with RIB as with planting block refuges. Furthermore, it is possible that your supplier might not have a RIB, so check when you buy so that you can plan and plant accordingly. Helping all of us keep traits, names, targets, herbicide tolerances, and refuge requirements straight are Dr. Chris DiFonzo, Dr. Pat Porter, and Dr. Kelley Tilmon, who have a great table laying all the traits out. You can find it here https://lubbock.tamu.edu/files/2018/01/BtTraitTableJan2018.pdf. Best of luck with your seed selection and planting!