Ways to encourage ‘refuge’ planting, slow resistance to Bt crops
Ways to encourage ‘refuge’ planting, slow resistance to Bt crops.
However, insect pests have shown the ability to evolve resistance to Bt proteins.
In fact, in the case of Bt corn, farmers are required to plant a section of their fields with refuge crops.
That’s because refuge crops provide fodder for insect pests that are not resistant to Bt proteins.
Some growers plant too little of their fields with Bt crops, and some don’t plant refuge crops at all.
Reisig divides his time between conducting research and helping farmers deal with problems related to insect crop pests.
What can influence whether growers plant refuge crops?
Reisig also found that there was a high correlation between how much land was devoted to corn, cotton and soybeans in a county, and how likely farmers in that county were to plant refuge crops.
Reisig also found that better enforcement and peer pressure from other farmers weren’t seen as making farmers more likely to plant refuge crops.
Journal Reference: Dominic D. Reisig.