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Pioneer Hi-Bred Research Center in York, Neb., Celebrates 50th Anniversary


Holds Grower Open House Showcasing Latest Crop Production Technologies

YORK, NEB.- Today, the York Research Center of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house for regional growers, showcasing its leadership in corn hybrid development.

For half a century, the Pioneer York Research Center has conducted research to benefit farmers throughout North America and around the world, focusing on agronomic and production issues affecting growers in the Western Plains states. More recently, the Center has significantly expanded its discovery breeding programs to develop corn hybrids for producers in Nebraska and surrounding states, with product development efforts focusing on 108-113 relative maturity germplasm.

Goals of researchers at the center include developing superior corn hybrids with improved yield, increased quality and reduced production risks for corn growers. Center researchers collect data used to provide end-users with product information and technical support.

The center is a key site for developing drought-tolerant hybrids and hybrids with mid-season brittle-snap resistance. Research at York also focuses on enhanced nitrogen use efficiency, allowing farmers to reduce input costs per bushel of corn produced, while reducing the environmental impact of nitrogen fertilizer production use.

“Our primary goals are the same today as they were 50 years ago when Pioneer established the York Research Center - to develop the best, most productive corn hybrids on the market for our customers,” says Leroy Svec, research scientist at the York Research Center. “The difference is that today we have a much, much broader assortment of crop genetics research tools and techniques to help growers get the most from each acre.”

York is among more than 90 Pioneer research centers around the globe that work together to develop crop genetics solutions to help meet growing global demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.

Dean Oestreich, Pioneer Hi-Bred president, and Bill Niebur, Pioneer vice president, Pioneer Crop Genetics Research and Development, spoke to growers touring the facility. In addition, Stan Jensen, York Research Center founder and retired corn breeder, and Joe Keaschall, Pioneer research director for the North America Central and West regions, also spoke to growers at lunch. Also attending were Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy; Rich Reiman, head of plant industry of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture; and Don Hutchens, Nebraska Corn Board executive.

Growers attending the open house observed field demonstrations showing the 2008 product line-up, including key, high-yielding Pioneer® brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties. Visitors were also shown corn breeding “process” demonstrations, hybrids of York origin and a special “Era Study” of Pioneer hybrids from past decades, dating from the 1940s to the present. Displays highlighting old and new hybrids and various uses of corn grain showed the progress made in corn breeding over the past 50 years.

The center’s research personnel are responsible for managing more than a dozen outlying test site locations where approximately 90,000 plots are yield-tested and observed for various agronomic and production characteristics. More than 130,000 self-pollinations are made each summer at the center as part of the corn breeding and development program.

“We’re excited about the research programs at the York facility and look forward to continuing to enhance the value that we can provide to growers through research,” says Svec. "This facility is one example of Pioneer’s commitment to corn growers across North America. Although this center’s research is concentrated in central Nebraska, we can integrate information from our research centers across the globe. Area growers benefit because, when they buy a bag of Pioneer seed, they’re able to make use of the research we’ve done worldwide.

“It is the unique ability to conduct thorough research and effectively move products into the marketplace that continues to make Pioneer an industry leader,” Svec continues. “This center exemplifies Pioneer’s continued and expanding commitment to maintaining market leadership.”

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Leaving business, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries. 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 70 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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