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DuPont soybean leadership advances with U.S. approval of Optimum GAT trait

DuPont has announced it has received United States regulatory approval of its proprietary herbicide tolerance trait, the Optimum GAT trait in soybeans — bringing the company a step closer to further extending the performance advantage of its Pioneer brand soybean seed.

“This milestone brings an innovative technology closer to farmers' fields,” said James C. Borel, DuPont group vice-president. “The Optimum GAT trait combined with our industry-leading genetics and other complementary technologies, will help soybean farmers maximize yields and give them a new level of weed control flexibility. The U.S. regulatory approval of the Optimum GAT trait in soybeans is key to DuPont efforts to increase soybean yields by 40 percent over the next 10 years.”

DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred recently launched its new high-yielding Y Series soybean varieties for 2009. The entire line has demonstrated a 5 percent yield advantage against key competitor varieties with some varieties yielding 6 percent to 10 percent better than competitors. These top-performing new varieties were developed with exclusive Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT)) and will serve as a strong platform for the Optimum GAT trait.

Pioneer brand soybeans have been the brand leader since 1989 and have gained six points of market share over the last eight years. Pioneer will grow its soybean market share in 2008 and expects that new technologies like the Y Series and the Optimum GAT trait will keep its share growing into the future.

The first-ever agricultural trait developed through proprietary DuPont gene shuffling technology, the Optimum GAT trait will provide broader spectrum weed control without compromising crop safety. This includes the ability to incorporate complementary ALS herbicides into a glyphosate program, including the new DuPont Freestyle, Traverse, Instigate and Diligent herbicides that DuPont Crop Protection has developed and is demonstrating in test plots this year

With these new herbicide options, growers will have tools to help manage tough to control weeds, including the growing list of glyphosate resistant weeds, in addition to maximizing yield potential. DuPont is planning demonstration plots in 2009 and 2010 and will introduce commercial soybean varieties with the Optimum GAT trait in 2011.

DuPont continues to pursue regulatory approvals in key export markets around the world for both Optimum GAT soybeans and corn. Pending regulatory approvals, the company is planning to introduce its proprietary Optimum GAT trait in corn in 2010.

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