Corinne Alexander
Purdue University.

Farmers are required to implement insect resistance management (IRM) plans for all Bt crops in order to reduce the probability that insects susceptible to Bt will develop resistance. These IRM plans require farmers to plant at least 20% of the corn acreage to a non-Bt hybrid, and in specific configurations. In order for IRM plans to be effective, farmers must correctly implement these refuge requirements both in terms of acreage and configuration. This article reports survey results which show that farmers believe refuges will be effective in managing resistance, but that they would not implement them if they were not required. The article also reports survey and focus group data on farmers’ perceptions of each refuge configuration. These data show that farmers who have experience with implementing refuges report less time and effort associated with refuges, which is partly due to having learned how to implement refuges more efficiently.

Key words: Bt corn, insect resistance management, refuge.