DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred announced plans to expand its presence in central Iowa with a new research facility in Dallas Center. This is one of the many recent investments the company is making to support local product development to help farmers increase productivity.

The new 50,000 square foot facility will help support corn breeding and product development, and corn and soybean product testing and characterization for farmers in western and central Iowa, eastern Nebraska and northwest Missouri.

“This investment in local product development and testing reinforces our commitment to help farmers get the right product on the right acre to maximize productivity,” said John Soper, Pioneer vice president, Crop Genetics Research and Development. “It’s one of the many investments we are making to deliver innovative solutions to farmers locally and help to respond to the challenges of feeding a growing population.”

Local product development trials for the Pioneer Impact plot program also will be managed out of the new facility. Impact plots provide testing of multiple products at the last stage before they are advanced for sale to growers.

Construction of the new facility is scheduled to begin this month with occupancy anticipated in late spring 2012.

Pioneer has had a research location in Dallas Center since 2004.  The location currently houses a global molecular marker lab, laser-assisted seed selection, Impact, and corn and soybean product development.

“As we have expanded the size and scope of our product development efforts, we have outgrown the size of our existing facility,” said Soper. “This expansion will enable us to develop improved products from a state-of-the-art, technology enabled facility.”

The new Dallas Center research facility is one of the many investments Pioneer is making to expand its research presence in Iowa. Construction is currently underway on a new $40 million research facility in Johnston that will include space for 400 new positions. Pioneer also is in the midst of a $32 million greenhouse and research facility renovation and expansion project that will include space for 100 new full-time positions by the end of 2014. In addition, Pioneer opened a new corn research center in Orange City, Iowa, earlier this year to expand product development and testing for farmers in northwest Iowa and surrounding areas.