DuPont Unveils Innovative Mobile Wind Machines to Help Improve Corn Yield
DuPont has unveiled the latest innovation to increase agricultural productivity – mobile wind machines that test the ability of higher-yielding experimental corn hybrids to withstand violent wind storms that cause significant standability issues and subsequent yield loss.
Nicknamed Boreas – a name inspired by the Greek god of the cold north wind – this innovation will help scientists improve the standability of Pioneer corn hybrids by producing turbulent winds exceeding 100 miles per hour. The 20-ton mobile wind machines are the newest tool in the company’s Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT™) system toolbox, and a critical component of the Pioneer commitment to increase corn yields 40 percent within the next nine years.
“Pioneer researchers can’t always rely on Mother Nature to deliver the severe weather they need at the exact location of our research trials to test for the stresses our customers face,” said Geoff Graham, senior research director for DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred. “We created machines to bring the ‘storm of the decade’ to our research fields across the country each season to identify hybrids with the best standability in the most difficult growing conditions.”
Standability is one of the biggest challenges farmers face as more seeds are planted to each acre. About 20 to 30 percent of the corn acres in North America can be impacted by root lodging, stalk lodging or brittle snap each year. Root lodging occurs when environmental forces exceed the ability of the root system to support the plant, causing the entire corn stalk to lean or fall. Stalk lodging is the breakage of corn stalks below the ear. Brittle snap refers to breakage of corn stalks by violent winds, usually during periods of fast growth. Pioneer plant breeders are constantly challenged to develop higher yielding plants with a stalk and root structure that can withstand violent storms when planted at higher populations.
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