VOLGA, S.D., April 10, 2008 - Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, today announced plans to build a permanent research center here. The new site represents a $3.5 million investment in a state-of-the-art facility, equipment and professional staff to develop and deliver exceptional hybrids for farmers in South Dakota, western Minnesota and northwest Iowa.
The new research center will open this fall and support a major expansion in Pioneer efforts to develop corn hybrids for the northwestern Corn Belt.
"This permanent site represents our commitment to develop high-yielding hybrids perfectly suited for area growers," said William S. Niebur, DuPont vice president, Crop Genetics Research and Development.
The South Dakota research team has been working out of temporary facilities in Brookings, S.D., since the spring of 2006. By the fall of 2008, corn breeding programs will have doubled and hybrid testing programs will have more than tripled with field testing sites throughout east central South Dakota and western Minnesota.
"We've had remarkable growth the past two years in Brookings, allowing us to make this long-term commitment to product development for this area," said Niebur.
Pioneer is focused on rapidly integrating the traits and technologies its customers need and want into the best germplasm. The new Research Center will play a vital role in developing the best germplasm for this region and commercializing new technologies like Pioneer® brand corn hybrids with Herculex® XTRA insect protection, the Optimum® GAT® trait and Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 products.
The Center's research teams also will be expanding their testing of next-generation weed and insect control, drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency traits. And, with more than half of the corn produced in South Dakota grown for ethanol production, Pioneer plans to expand its ethanol evaluation plots to enhance its lineup of hybrids that produce more ethanol per acre.
The South Dakota research center employs nine full-time research and administrative staff and several interns. More than 60 local high school and college students also will be employed to assist with summer research activities. The new center also will serve as an area training facility for the Pioneer South Dakota sales team.
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont 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.