This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved a natural refuge option for all areas where Bollgard II cotton is grown except states and counties where pink bollworm is a significant pest. According to Dr. Walt Mullins, Cotton Technical Manger for Monsanto, a grower can now plant Bollgard II varieties without the requirement to plant a specific non-B.t. cotton refuge.
The Natural Refuge option took immediate effect on June 1. Mullins says this means growers who have not planted yet or are going to replant have the option to plant Bollgard II cotton without having to plant a refuge.