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SmartStax nets crop insurance premium rate for 2010

Agriculture.com Staff 10/07/2009 @ 1:22pm

U.S. farmers who plant corn hybrids containing SmartStax in 2010 will be eligible to reduce their crop insurance premium rate as part of the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement approved by the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), Board of Directors, according to a company report.

SmartStax is a multi-event technology developed by Monsanto Company and Dow AgroSciences LLC.

The Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement (BE) lowers crop insurance premium rates in 2010 for irrigated and non-irrigated corn farmers who meet the program eligibility requirements and plant certain qualifying hybrids in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

"The addition of SmartStax hybrids to the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement recognizes that the technology contributes to reduced production risk for U.S. farmers," says Matt Kirkpatrick, Monsanto Corn Traits Marketing Manager. "U.S. farmers who plant SmartStax in 2010 will not only be able to increase their yield through the 5% refuge allowed for the technology in these states, but they will also have the opportunity to save on crop insurance on both irrigated and non-irrigated acres."

"Participation by corn growers in the Pilot BE program in 2009 is expected to be greater than 2008 participation levels, and growers have experienced the yield improvement and risk reduction of stacked trait technologies," adds Ben Kaehler, Dow AgroSciences Commercial Leader. "The addition of SmartStax in 2010 will expand growers' trait options to receive a premium rate reduction on qualifying acres under next year's Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement."

Inclusion of SmartStax in the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement is one of three key actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture's FCIC Board of Directors took on September 16 that will benefit farmers who plant qualifying corn technologies, which now includes SmartStax.

The Pilot Biotech Yield Endorsement began in 2008 in 4 states. The cost of a total producer-paid premium during the 2008 pilot program was reduced on average by more than $3 per acre. Total savings for participating growers was estimated to be nearly $25 million within the pilot geography in 2008. To be eligible for the premium rate reduction using Monsanto hybrids, at least 75% of the total insured corn acres, including replanted acres, on a unit basis must be corn for grain planted to hybrids containing SmartStax, Genuity YieldGard VT Triple PRO, YieldGard VT Triple, or YieldGard Plus with Roundup Ready Corn 2 technologies. Participation in this program does not replace the importance of growers respecting EPA-mandated refuge requirements.

U.S. farmers who plant corn hybrids containing SmartStax in 2010 will be eligible to reduce their crop insurance premium rate as part of the Pilot Biotechnology Endorsement approved by the USDA Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), Board of Directors, according to a company report.

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