“Integrating refuge has been a welcomed advancement,” says Laura Higgins, research program leader for Pioneer. “As products are approved, it will be a big win for growers because it is simple, efficient, and makes life easier during planting.”

What may also be a key selling point to regulators is that it will ensure that refuge requirements are being met, experts say. “Compliance can be a critical factor in how long these traits last,” Flexner says. “If we are able to ensure putting refuge on every acre where it belongs, in the long run we can prolong durability of the trait.”

The changing refuge requirements created some confusion among growers as to which refuge to plant for the products they were using. “A simpler approach that harmonizes refuge deployment [like integrated refuge] resonates with growers,” Higgins says.

And as producers move toward larger and larger planters, the ability to plant a single product on every acre, without the added management decisions associated with a structured refuge, will mean fewer decisions during planting time.

“The single-product approach allows producers to plant as they did before the advent of Bt products,” says Holly Butka, corn product marketing manager for Monsanto. “There is a high level of interest as producers look to be more efficient during planting time.”