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Corn+Soybean Digest

Pioneer Accelerates Development of New Seed Products

Researchers with Pioneer Hi-Bred are accelerating the development of new and improved products, traits and enabling technologies to meet the rapid growth in demand for corn.

“Our Accelerated Trait Integration process has allowed us to speed the development and dramatically grow supply of our products with triple stacks - corn rootworm protection, corn borer protection and glyphosate resistance,” says Mike Chapman, Pioneer research director. “For corn growers, it means they’ll have better corn seed choices for the 2008 growing season.”

Accelerated Trait Integration allows Pioneer researchers to combine base genetics with key traits one to two years sooner than previous methods.

Chapman further explains that the vast majority of new product releases for 2008 will carry what are becoming the “essential” trait stacks in the first year of commercialization. In 2009, Pioneer intends to have a triple stack option available for 100% of its new base genetics. Growers will be able to select either the base genetics or combinations of corn rootworm protection, corn borer protection and glyphosate resistance.

“Demand for triple stacks offering superior corn rootworm, corn borer and western bean cutworm protection from Herculex XTRA, as well as resistance to glyphosate, Roundup Ready 2, has made us adjust our research and commercialization strategy,” says Chapman. “To deliver the products our customers want, when they want them, we now integrate the desired traits into our superior genetics much earlier in our research and development process.”

Chapman explains that the heart of Accelerated Trait Integration is making the inbred conversions earlier in the development pipeline to allow advanced research testing to be conducted on the desired stacked combinations for all pre-commercial hybrids in the pipeline. This requires aggressively integrating technology traits early in the development process, increasing the number of growing cycles per year by using numerous tropical and temperate locations throughout the world, and use of molecular markers to ensure optimal conversions are obtained.

Chapman notes that for the past three years Pioneer has made a multimillion-dollar investment to make this happen and is an industry leader in their capabilities.

“Accelerated Trait Integration has allowed us to cut the time it takes to bring the best trait options in our best genetics, without cutting any corners in research testing,” says Chapman. “In fact, we are generating more product performance data prior to advancement and commercialization decisions than ever before.”

Even further advancements are anticipated as DuPont executes the $100 million reinvestment in Pioneer that was announced earlier this year.

“The new products that result from this reinvestment will help growers further improve their productivity and meet the growing demand for corn,” says Chapman.

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