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Here’s how the Kunia location produces corn hybrids while assessing cover crop species for weed control measures.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

March 3, 2023

12 Slides

Whether corn or cover crops, it’s growing at Bayer’s Kunia Product Development Center on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

Old man winter does not slow corn hybrid progress on a tropical island. “We work on the counter season to make sure we can advance a generation,” says Atila Deak, senior agronomy lead for Bayer Crop Science. “It takes about five years to advance a product to market. If we didn’t have the ability of this location, that would take us up to 10 cycles.” But it is more than just corn hybrids at the farm.

Use of cover crops for a company farming on an island in Hawaii has the same goals as that of a farmer managing a Midwest cornfield — to improve soil structure, enhance weed management, and ultimately get off on the right foot going into the next growing season. However, finding the right cover crop mix for a tropical location comes with its own set of challenges.

Click through the photo gallery to read more about Bayer’s corn hybrid production and cover crop trials.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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