The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the registration of Bollgard insect-protected cotton technology developed by Monsanto Company through the 2009 growing season.

“Extension of this registration ensures cotton farmers will continue to have access to Bollgard cotton varieties as they transition to second-generation Bollgard II insect protection. Bollgard II offers better insect control than Bollgard and greatly reduces the chance of insect resistance,” says Matt Renkoski, Monsanto cotton marketing lead.

Current registrations for Bollgard and Bollgard II expire in September 2006. Monsanto has made separate requests to EPA to extend registrations for both insect-resistant technologies.

EPA is expected to announce its decision on the extension of Bollgard II registration later this year. Bollgard II 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.

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