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BIOTECH BITS

More than 90% of Illinois corn farmers polled at the University of Illinois Extension Corn and Soybean Classic meetings earlier this year indicated that they plan to plant insect-resistant Bt corn this year, according to a May 12 university news release. However, only 75-80% said they also plan to comply with EPA's requirement that they plant 20% of their corn acreage with non- Bt seed. Another 5-10% of the growers indicated they wouldn't plant any refuge acres at all. Michael Gray, the UI agricultural entomologist who conducted the survey, warns, "As the widespread use of Bt corn continues and the duration of exposure … to corn insects increases, the potential development of resistance becomes magnified. This accentuates the importance of refuge compliance by corn producers."

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