EPA Extends Registrations for Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete™ Corn and Genuity® SmartStax® Corn

Genuity SmartStax products are the central component to Monsanto's best management practices in areas faced with high rootworm pressure

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing that pyramided, dual mode-of-action technologies are the most effective means to maintain the long-term durability of corn trait technologies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the registrations of two corn trait products, Genuity® SmartStax® RIB Complete" and Genuity® SmartStax®. The EPA granted the initial registration of Genuity SmartStax in 2009.

"The registration extensions of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete and Genuity SmartStax by the EPA reinforce the value of these dual mode-of-action products and the reduced refuge approaches that they make possible for U.S. corn farmers," said Ty Vaughn, corn product lead at Monsanto.

"Monsanto is committed to the success of our farmer customers as well as working with them to support the durability and stewardship of our trait technologies," Vaughn said. "These two corn technologies are a living example of our commitment to help farmers manage the challenges they face on farm and protect on-farm yields."

Genuity SmartStax and Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete products provide farmers with multiple modes-of-action for broad spectrum control of above- and below-ground insects, and offer two herbicide tolerance traits for greater flexibility in weed management. In addition, Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete products help farmers simplify the planting process and assure their compliance with refuge requirements in a single-bag approach, thereby helping protect the long-term durability of Bt technology.

Monsanto noted that Genuity SmartStax corn hybrids delivered a yield benefit to U.S. corn farmers by outperforming YieldGard VT Triple corn products by an average 3.8 bushels per acre advantage in 2011. Furthermore, in trials from areas where U.S. corn farmers faced heavy insect pressure from corn rootworms, the dual modes-of-action in Genuity SmartStax technology has demonstrated an average yield advantage of 8.5 bushels per acre when compared with YieldGard VT Triple corn products.

The 2011 crop season also marked the first time that corn farmers experienced the benefits of Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete single-bag corn technology. Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete products simplify refuge management for farmers in the Corn Belt through a single-bag blend of 95 percent Genuity SmartStax corn seed and 5 percent refuge (non-Bt) corn seed that farmers can plant across their entire field. Genuity SmartStax products without RIB Complete still require U.S. corn farmers in the Corn Belt to plant a 5 percent structured refuge.

Earlier this month, the EPA granted registration for Monsanto's newest RIB product Genuity® VT Double PRO® RIB Complete®, a simple, convenient option for managing above-ground pests. The new product, available for the 2012 planting season, is a blend of 95 percent Genuity VT Double PRO and 5 percent refuge (non-Bt seed) delivering the lowest refuge in the Corn Belt.

Additional information on Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete, Genuity SmartStax and Genuity VT Double PRO corn products can be found online at www.monsanto.com and www.genuity.com.

Genuity SmartStax Products Central Component To Monsanto's Best Management Practices

Vaughn noted that the Genuity SmartStax and refuge in a bag approaches such as Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete are the central component of Monsanto's best management practices for farmers who prefer to plant corn on corn annually. These products provide a valuable on-farm resource that supports sound stewardship and the long-term durability of rootworm-protected technologies on farm, including in corn-on-corn areas faced with high populations of corn rootworm.  Earlier this month, the company highlighted its best management practices recommendations for supporting greater stewardship on fields continuously planted to corn on corn and affected by significant corn rootworm pressure in 2011. These best management practices include:

  • Switching to dual-mode-of-action Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn to manage and protect against insects on the affected field specifically.  SmartStax® corn is the only product on the market to offer at least dual modes of action for above- and below-ground insect protection, or 
  • Rotating to Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans or another crop if soybeans are not a suitable recommendation for that specific geography.
  • Beyond these field-specific recommendations, we are also providing tailored local agronomic recommendations in combination with a soil or foliar applied insecticide for any fields planted to a single-mode-of-action technology in areas where high populations of rootworms were present during the 2011 season but where greater than expected corn rootworm damage was not experienced.
  • Monsanto agronomists and dealers will work with each affected farmer to implement the appropriate management practices for impacted fields and make recommendations for their entire farm.  In addition third-party representatives will work with Monsanto seed dealers to educate and reinforce the recommendation of best management practices for corn rootworm control.

"We take the stewardship of our products seriously," Vaughn said. "Our corn rootworm products continue to provide U.S. corn farmers with strong protection against this damaging pest as well as a higher yield potential than competitive rootworm-protected technologies across more 37 million acres today."

Monsanto has been working with independent researchers to better understand the factors that led to greater than expected rootworm damage in single mode-of-action technology in those areas planted with continuous corn and saw heavy rootworm pressure.

"Since 2003, the Cry3Bb1 protein has delivered exceptional protection against corn rootworm, and it continues to do so today, with less than two tenths of one percent of acres planted to YieldGard VT Triple and Genuity VT Triple PRO corn products in the United States experiencing greater than expected rootworm damage," Vaughn said.