Some of that corn being harvested by Indiana farmers came from a seed corn bag representing the new trend in seed products, integrated refuge. When a farmer plants biotech corn he must also plant a small percentage of non-bt corn in or adjacent to that field. But the new technology combines those seeds in one bag so the non-bt seed, or refuge, is integrated with the biotech traited corn.
“The adoption of the integrated refuge products is really expanding at a pretty rapid pace since its introduction, and the introduction started not only in your double stack markets but now it’s in your triple stack markets as well,” says Luke Davies, Senior Marketing Manager with DuPont Pioneer. “The adoption is really moving that way because farmers want a simplified approach to increase the longevity and the stewardship of technology.”
He says widespread adoption could be here in just a couple of years.
“I would say you can look at the industry today and where we’ve come just in the last 2-3 years as an entire seed industry, and look at where we’re going, and it’s pretty easy to say that we’ll be 100 percent or awful close to it in the next 2 to 3 years.”
Integrated refuge growers are sold on the products, and simplicity is the reason why.
“If they can be compliant and extend the life of the technology, the integrated refuge is really a tremendous way to do it because it helps them meet that need and help the life cycle of the technology, and then the guys that are really coming into it, they’re excited because the folks that have tried it are really the best voice for it.”
Davies says for some farmers planting the traditional separate refuge still makes sense.
“For a lot of growers it’s still about performance first and profitability on a per-acre basis, and if they’ve got a product that really fits the environment for them, that truly is the right product for the right acre, they will look at the genetics and the performance of a product and the historical experience they’ve had and keep that product on their farm where it makes sense.”