WILMINGTON, Del., May 3, 2010 - DuPont announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the historic commercial registration of Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 insect protection for Pioneer® brand corn hybrids. This marks the EPA's first approval of an in-the-bag solution for insect refuge management, offering reduced corn rootworm refuge and a more convenient path to refuge compliance for growers.
"This decision is not only a regulatory milestone, but also great news for corn growers," said Paul E. Schickler, president - Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. "Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 products will offer growers increased convenience, reduced refuge and an additional tool for maximizing field-by-field productivity. We are demonstrating the product in farmers' fields this year to show its value and support the 2011 ramp up."
To help deter corn pests from developing resistance to biotech traits, the U.S. EPA requires growers to plant some corn without a specific insect protection trait to serve as a "refuge." The process of planning and planting a traditional separate insect refuge is time-consuming, and refuge corn is at risk for damage and yield loss. Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 insect protection reduces the traditional 20 percent corn rootworm refuge by half and puts it in the seed bag, eliminating the need for separate rootworm refuge while increasing the ease and flexibility of planting the corn borer refuge.
Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 products integrate 90 percent of a trusted Pioneer® brand hybrid containing the Herculex® XTRA traits which deliver above- and below-ground biotech insect protection and 10 percent of a hybrid from the same genetic family containing the Herculex® I trait for above-ground insect protection and to serve as the corn rootworm refuge. All seed in the bag is herbicide tolerant.
Multiyear research trials demonstrate that Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 products with 90 percent Herculex® XTRA deliver the same strong yield performance as a field planted with 100 percent Herculex® XTRA. Additionally, market research indicates that two out of three growers prefer Pioneer's convenient in-the-bag approach to refuge versus reduction of refuge alone.
"Our focus is on improving customer productivity using our 'right product, right acre' approach of local customer support and product innovation," said Schickler. "Customers told us what they needed, and we responded with an innovative solution that works better for growers. Pioneer is committed to providing growers more choices in products and systems that maximize their productivity."
In addition to the Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 product registration announced April 30, the EPA also has granted Pioneer registration for Optimum® AcreMaxTM RW products, which integrate 90 percent Herculex® RW seed and 10 percent of a hybrid from the same genetic family without biotech insect protection. All seed in the bag is herbicide tolerant. Optimum® AcreMaxTM RW products may be grown alone or in conjunction with Optimum® AcreMaxTM 1 products as a corn borer refuge, allowing growers in high corn rootworm pressure areas the flexibility to protect 100 percent of their corn acres with the industry-leading Herculex® RW rootworm trait.
The next-generation Optimum® AcreMaxTM 2 family of products would further maximize productivity and simplify insect refuge deployment through a refuge-in-the-bag solution for both corn rootworm and corn borer. Optimum® AcreMaxTM 2 insect protection products are anticipated for U.S. cultivation as early as 2012 upon regulatory approval and field testing.
These innovative Optimum® brand products represent some of the many advances in next-generation plant genetics from DuPont to increase grower choice and productivity. Today, DuPont innovation is making a meaningful difference in the lives of agricultural producers as the company focuses on meeting the world's increasing demands for food, feed, fiber and fuel.
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 approximately 80 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.