DuPont Pioneer executives broke ground on a $3 million Stoneville, Miss., research center that will focus on developing corn and soybean products that will perform under the tough conditions that growers in the Delta face. Construction is expected to be complete in the spring of 2013.

"This new research center will allow us to continue to create better products that fit the specific needs of farmers in this area," said Greg Wichmann, director of the Southern Business Unit for Pioneer. "We are increasing our investment in local product development and testing to reinforce our commitment to help farmers maximize their productivity."

The research center will include approximately 30,000 square feet of space. Research at the facility will be focused on soybean breeding and product development as well as corn product testing and characterization for farmers in the Delta. Additionally, IMPACT plots (Intensively Managed Product Advancement Characterization and Training) for both corn and soybeans for the Delta will be managed out of this location.

As the only Pioneer research center in the state of Mississippi, this facility will employ between 10-15 full-time staff once it's fully operational. In addition, Pioneer plans to hire temporary employees at the research center during portions of the growing season.