An expanded Pioneer Hi-Bred research center at Volga, S.D., will help South Dakota farmers feed the world, said Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
"This is going to help create more jobs in South Dakota … and more food for the world," he said.
Pioneer has added a soybean research program to its corn program at the center, which first opened in 2008. Part of the expansion involved a 12,000 square foot addition to the facility to support the plant breeding and screening fieldwork.
Back from a recent visit to China, Gov. Daugaard said he expects China to continue to be a strong market for the state's soybean growers.
China may lead the world in manufacturing, but it is way behind the U.S. in its ability to produce food efficiently, Gov. Daugaard said.
In a 400-mile trip through China's leading agricultural province, his group only saw four tractors. Nearly all field work was being done by hand.
At one spot, they saw what appeared to be corn spilled on the asphalt highway. It turned out to be corn that Chinese farmers were drying. They spread wet kernels out on asphalt and sweep them up when they are dry.
China will not likely be able to feed itself in the near future, Gov. Daugaard said. Nor will India. The burden will fall to the U.S. farmers – and particularly South Dakota producers, who are currently the among the leaders in technology adaptation – to feed the world, he said.
At the Volga center, Pioneer will focus its soybean breeding effort on early maturity group beans adapted to agronomic conditions in South Dakota and western Minnesota.