Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is releasing 17 new Pioneer brand Optimum AQUAmax hybrids in the 96- to 116-day comparative relative maturities (CRMs) for drought-stressed environments, helping growers match the right product with the right acre.

Combined with products already introduced last year, Optimum AQUAmax hybrids offer 25 total hybrid choices for growers in the 2012 planting season.

During a drought-stressed 2011 growing season, the first class of Optimum AQUAmax hybrids provided strong yields compared to competitive hybrids. In nearly 8,000 on-farm trials, Optimum AQUAmax hybrids yielded 7.1 percent higher in drought conditions and 3.4 percent higher in favorable weather conditions than competitors.* Growers can expect similar results from the new class of hybrids.

"Optimum AQUAmax hybrids delivered strong yields for growers in a trying year," says Monica Patterson, Pioneer marketing manager. "Hybrids performed well in areas of drought as well as geographies that encountered adequate moisture throughout the growing season."

Optimum AQUAmax hybrids are equipped with strong agronomics and the latest technology package. Drought tolerance is controlled by a large number of genes and heavily influenced by environmental factors (for example, heat, water stress, soil types). There is no one single solution for drought tolerance.

"Pioneer's Optimum AQUAmax hybrids deliver multiple modes of action through a suite of native traits that have a positive impact on drought tolerance, and thus yield," Patterson says. "Pioneer is approaching drought tolerance with an integrated approach, leveraging all the tools available to develop robust solutions for drought."

Pioneer focuses on total product performance for Optimum AQUAmax hybrids to help growers balance productivity and profitability by implementing best management of available resources. Everything from timing of seed treatment, planting date, row spacing, plant population, planting depth, tillage practices and nutrient management are factored into the Optimum AQUAmax hybrid systems approach. This approach ensures hybrids perform well in each unique growing environment using management tools and resources available.

"We're continuing to expand Optimum AQUAmax product offerings to cover more geography," Patterson says. "Hybrids for drought-stressed environments - along with other traits and technologies unique to Pioneer products - offer growers flexibility and risk management while maximizing yield potential in a wide range of growing environments."