EPA has extended the registration of YieldGard Rootworm corn and Bollgard II insect-protected cotton through the 2006 growing season. The extension allows Monsanto to continue to make the technologies available through this time period.

Bollgard II is the second-generation of insect-protected cotton developed by Monsanto. This technology contains two different insect-control genes, compared to the single insect-control gene in its predecessor, Bollgard, and provides growers with benefits such as a broader spectrum of insect control and increased defense against the development of insect resistance.

“Extension of this registration is great news for America's cotton growers and assures that they will continue to have access to this valuable technology,” says Mark Edge, cotton product manager for Monsanto. “Bollgard II cotton provides growers with a convenient alternative to reduce their insecticide applications and related input costs on farm.”

This extension requires the continuation of key stewardship practices, including the comprehensive insect resistance management (IRM) program for Bollgard II cotton.

The EPA originally granted a short term registration for Bollgard II cotton in 2002 based on a time-limited exemption from the requirement for a tolerance for the Cry2Ab2 protein produced by Bollgard II cotton.

On March 31, 2004, the EPA granted a non-expiring tolerance exemption for the Cry2Ab2 protein, enabling the agency to extend the registration for Bollgard II cotton. The EPA previously granted a non-expiring tolerance exemption for Cry1Ac, the second protein in Bollgard II and the protein produced in Bollgard since 1997.

Development first

YieldGard Rootworm corn is the first product developed through plant biotechnology to control the corn rootworm.

“Extending this registration is great news for the more than 200 seed companies and tens of thousands of U.S. farmers who plant biotech-enhanced corn hybrids,” said Jim Zarndt, cotton traits product manager for Monsanto. “YieldGard Rootworm technology is an important tool that reduces a farmers' input costs and provides them with the convenience of reduced insecticide handling while effectively controlling this damaging insect.”

YieldGard Rootworm corn contains the Cry3Bb1 protein from the Cry3 family of proteins, which are specific to the corn rootworm.

The extension requires the continuation of key stewardship practices, including the comprehensive insect resistance management (IRM) program for YieldGard Rootworm corn.

The EPA originally granted a short term registration for YieldGard Rootworm corn in 2003 based a time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for the Cry3Bb protein produced by YieldGard Rootworm corn.

On March 31, 2004, the EPA granted a non-expiring tolerance exemption for the Cry3Bb protein, in turn enabling the agency to extend the registration for YieldGard Rootworm corn.