DECATUR, Ill- Customers of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, will now have access to even more local agronomic research information through a new program focused on evaluating innovative production practices on a local basis. A national network of agronomy trial managers (ATMs) currently is being added to the existing Pioneer agronomic team to help growers identify improved crop production practices, using Pioneer®brand products that could enhance growers' profitability.
A number of ATMs are already working on agronomic testing programs today. The goal of the ATM program, a complement to the Pioneer "Right Product, Right Acre" strategy, is to have ATMs in all regions of the U.S. within three years, evaluating the best practices to help growers get the greatest value from each acre. There are currently 20 ATMs nationwide, but Pioneer is looking to more than double that number.
"Offering growers localized agronomic information - through Pioneer's extensive national network of agronomists - has long been part of what the company provides customers with each bag of seed," says Curt Clausen, Pioneer agronomy sciences director. "The fourth point of the Pioneer Long Look - 'providing helpful management suggestions' - has been a significant element in the company's overall philosophy for decades. The creation of the ATM system is an expansion of that legacy. This effort - directing production research to the local level through professional agronomic research - takes it to the next level of information."
For years, Pioneer has offered a broad range of agronomy resources to its customers, including information provided by area agronomists and agronomy researchers. Localized agronomic information is provided to Pioneer customers in many ways, including updates from Pioneer sales professionals and multiple publications such as Walking Your Fields®newsletter and Crop Insights bulletins.
Another locally directed program from Pioneer is the IMPACTTM(Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Training) trials effort. These plots are grown in local producers' fields and are the key data source to support product commercialization. This local approach ensures products are tested extensively in the region where they will be grown to optimize product placement and performance in producers' fields.
While IMPACT trials evaluate local performance of Pioneer brand products, ATMs conduct trials to understand local crop management issues. By using grower equipment and working with Pioneer account managers, sales reps and area agronomists, ATMs will be able to provide real-time solutions to growers on specific management factors that affect their region. ATMs also will be working with university researchers on regional agronomic projects.
"Pioneer is further expanding its agronomy research effort," Clausen says. "Environmental conditions change so much from location to location that we need a strong local presence. Soil conditions, moisture, organic matter, disease pressure and even seed treatment needs change as the geography changes. We're getting a better idea of how improved understanding of these issues can help our customers."
ATMs will help growers see how a particular product performs in the local growing environment under a variety of management practices. Growers can then decide if a specific practice or technology is applicable for them. ATMs not only will provide timely information during the growing season, but also will compile the data for use in a multi-location, multi-year database. By conducting trials with very specific goals, reliable data collected year after year will allow for continued improvement of agronomic practices by region.
"Having local knowledge is the key to providing information that will allow the grower to make product and management decisions to increase their profitability," Clausen says. "ATMs are local experts, and providing real value to the grower is their main priority."