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New DuPont Innovation to Deliver Corn Yield Advantages in Water-Limited Environments


Optimum® AQUAmax(TM) Hybrids Allow Growers to Minimize Risk, Maximize Productivity

DES MOINES, Iowa, -- DuPont launched a new generation of corn hybrids developed and tested to help deliver a yield advantage in water-limited environments, allowing growers to minimize risk and maximize productivity. These hybrids will be offered to growers under the Optimum® AQUAmax™ brand name through DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred.

These hybrids, introduced for planting in 2011, contain a collection of native corn traits that improve water access and utilization and deliver greater yields in water-limited conditions. The initial class of Optimum® AQUAmax™ innovations will include five hybrid platforms across a range of maturities and technology packages. While the 2011 launch size is limited and primarily targeted in the western Corn Belt, the technology advancement is an important milestone toward the longer-term objective of bringing breeding and biotechnology solutions to drought-prone environments.

In on-farm, advancement and research trials, the Optimum® AQUAmax™hybrids show a 5 percent yield advantage, on average, over leading commercially available competitor and other Pioneer® brand corn hybrids. The performance of Optimum® AQUAmax™ hybrids is validated through on-farm and research testing in water-limited environments throughout the western Corn Belt. From 2008 to 2010, Optimum® AQUAmax™ hybrids were tested in 223 water-limited efficiency trials concentrated in Nebraska, California, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.¹

“The Optimum® AQUAmax™ products are another example of Pioneer’s right product, right acre strategy, which focuses on optimizing productivity and profitability to our growers,” said Paul E. Schickler, president -- Pioneer Hi-Bred. “This further demonstrates the research that Pioneer has dedicated to drought tolerance for more than 50 years"

Optimum® AQUAmax™ hybrids are developed through Pioneer’s proprietary Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT™) system. This is a suite of tools, including molecular breeding techniques, which allow research to rapidly scan and identify genes responsible for increasing yields and other beneficial traits. The AYT™ system allows Pioneer to bring products with key native genes to market faster.

Within the Pioneer research network, its targeted drought program includes eight managed stress testing locations in Woodland, Calif.; Garden City, Kan.; LaSalle, Colo.; Manhattan, Kan.; Plainview, Texas; Kinston, N.C.; and Viluco, Chile.

“Drought is a complex issue and can affect crops differently depending on the geography and stress factors of each environment,” said Schickler. “There is no single gene or ‘silver bullet’ solution for the drought complex. Managing crops in drought-stressed environments is critically important to achieving performance results, and Pioneer continues to partner with growers to offer the best management suggestions to help maximize profit while minimizing risk.”

Optimum® AQUAmax™ hybrids are being marketed under the Optimum® brand name of the Pioneer family of traits, products and accompanying programs that enable growers to be more productive with choices to meet their individual needs.

Pioneer Hi-Bred (, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success(™).

DuPont ( is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.


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