Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Managing European corn borer resistance to Bt corn with dynamic refuges
Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy
  • Silvia Secchi, Iowa State University
  • Terrance M. Hurley, University of Minnesota
  • Bruce A. Babcock, Iowa State University
  • Richard L. Hellmich, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Document Type
Book Chapter
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
Richard E. Just, Julian M. Alston, David Zilberman
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Place of Publication
Boston, MA

Genetically engineered Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn provides farmers with a new tool for controlling the European corn borer (ECB). The high efficacy and potential rapid adoption of Bt corn has raised concerns that the ECB will develop resistance to Bt. The Environmental Protection Agency has responded to these concerns by requiring farmers to plant refuge corn. Current refuge requirements are based on models that do not consider the value of dynamically varying refuge in response to increased scarcity and diminished control over time or the importance of backstop technologies currently being developed. The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate dynamically optimal refuge requirements with the arrival of alternative backstop technologies and to compare the results to an optimal static refuge policy. The results show that a dynamically optimal refuge requirement provides only modest benefits above a static optimum. The results also show how the type of backstop technology and characteristics of ECB population dynamics affect the optimal refuge requirement.


This chapter is published as Secchi S., Hurley T.M., Babcock B.A., Hellmich R.L. (2006) Managing European Corn Borer Resistance to Bt Corn with Dynamic Refuges. In: Just R.E., Alston J.M., Zilberman D. (eds) Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy. Natural Resource Management and Policy, vol 30. Springer, Boston, MA. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-36953-2_25.

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
File Format
Citation Information
Silvia Secchi, Terrance M. Hurley, Bruce A. Babcock and Richard L. Hellmich. "Managing European corn borer resistance to Bt corn with dynamic refuges" Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy (2006) p. 559 - 577
Available at: