The National Corn Growers Association has launched the next-generation of its Insect Resistance Management refuge calculator online to help growers as they begin planning for the 2012 growing season.

The product of a collaboration between agribusiness and NCGA, under the leadership of the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, the calculator allows users to easily clarify refuge options and develop a plan, even for the latest products available on a web-based framework while providing the added convenience of smartphone and desktop application accessibility.

“This new version of the IRM calculator provides an ease of access unavailable in other versions by allowing users to work online and on their smartphone. Like the previous desktop application, which has been updated as well, this tool helps farmers navigate the broad and complex variety of refuge requirements presented by the wide array of new technologies available,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Chad Blindauer.

“I see this tool as universally beneficial in that it provides growers already familiar with their own particular refuge requirements with an extra level of confidence and reassurance while clarifying options for those less familiar and allowing them to be the best stewards of their land.”

In recent years, the introduction of new refuge systems has given growers more options in setting up their refuge. NCGA’s calculator was developed as a tool to clarify those options with growers and show them how to execute the requirements properly.

“In addition to protecting current technology, adherence to refuge requirements is important for the commercialization of next generation biotech traits,” said Blindauer. “Future traits that build on today’s technology will only be successful if today’s technology remains effective.”

The benefits of this new tool include all commercial Bt products on the market and features a trait selection process that allows farmers to run several planting scenarios on a field-by-field basis. Its updated interface and clearer planting options makes refuge calculation simpler to do.

To access or download the NCGA calculator, please visit www.irmcalculator.com.

The refuge calculator is a tool that should be used in conjunction with the applicable seed manufacturer’s Stewardship Guide, which explains acceptable refuge configurations in more detail. For additional information on planting specific corn hybrids, please consult with the appropriate manufacturer’s representative.

Industry experts from the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee, which includes representatives from Dow AgroSciences LLC, Monsanto Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and Syngenta Seeds Inc., were consulted in developing the new and improved calculator.