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Do Refuge Requirements for Biotechnology Crops Promote Economic Efficiency? Some Evidence for Bt Cotton

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2015

Michael J. Livingston
Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Nicholas P. Storer
Dow Agrosciences, LLC
John W. Van Duyn
Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University
George G. Kennedy
Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University
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We examine producer behavior, resistance evolution, and returns under alternative refuge requirements in an eastern North Carolina region with multiple corn, cotton, and soybean fields infested by a mobile pest. Returns are highest, pyrethroid sprays occur least frequently, and pyrethroid resistance evolution is delayed most effectively with no refuge requirement. Complying with the current 20% refuge requirement costs the producer $8.67 per cotton acre, or $34.21 per non-transgenic insecticidal (Bt) cotton acre. Returns are highest under each refuge requirement when one-toxin Bt cotton is not phased out; however, removal of the technology at the earliest phase-out date minimizes regional pyrethroid sprays.

Copyright © Southern Agricultural Economics Association 2007

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