Early corn refuge planning helps ensure a smooth corn planting season. To help farmers, the National Corn Growers Association released an updated Insect Resistance Management Calculator that includes information relevant to this year’s packages.

“Refuge planning is important for all farmers because it supports the continued viability of important tools,” said Jim Zimmermann, NCGA trade policy and biotechnology chair “While seed companies work hard to keep a pipeline of new products flowing, it is important that farmers keep up their end of the bargain too. Thorough planning makes meeting refuge requirements much simpler once planting season arrives.”

The NCGA Insect Resistance Management refuge calculator allows users to easily clarify refuge options and develop a plan. As many farmers must change planting plans to accommodate for the changing circumstances around them, NCGA now offers the Insect Resistance Management calculator in a handy mobile application to make updating refuge planting plans easier.

The IRM calculator app is available for the iPhone through iTunes. The Android app is available through Google Play.

“What I like about the IRM calculator smartphone app is that it makes it easy,” said Zimmerman, who uses the IRM calculator app on his own farm. “Farmers know that plans change for a number of reasons, mostly due to weather. The smartphone app allows you to account for these changes and adjust on the go.”

While proper refuge planning can be confusing given the host of differing requirements associated with each variety, it is important that farmers remember that they have many allies who can act as resources. Generally the first and most important resource, seed dealers and crop consultants will help explain requirements and aide in planning.

In addition to proper refuge planning, NCGA also recommends that growers pay attention to any signs of insect pressure in their fields and acquaint themselves with more advanced integrated pest management solutions. By keeping up-to-date on all options, farmers increase the tools readily available in their arsenal should the need arise.