DuPont sees growth as farmers seek drought-hardy corn
But Schickler said Monsanto's corn is "less field tested" than Pioneer's offering, and Pioneer is on track to continue to grow market share, both in corn and soybeans. Since 2008, Pioneer has realized more than 10 percent market-share gain in North American soybean sales and more than 6 percent in corn, Schickler said.
Weed Resistance Worries
Pioneer rivals Monsanto, Dow Chemical and BASF are preparing to roll out new herbicide-tolerant crops to address weed resistance problems that have resulted from wide-spread adoption of "Roundup Ready" soybeans, corn, cotton and other crops. Heavy use of glyphosate-based Roundup on the glyphosate-tolerant crops has led to a plague of herbicide-resistant weeds on millions of acres of U.S. farmland.
The new crops and chemicals developed by Pioneer rivals are built on herbicides other than glyphosate to combat the weeds resistant to glyphosate. But many Pioneer seed offerings are still built primarily on glyphosate tolerance.
Schickler said Pioneer is actively researching different solutions, including a combination of licensed Roundup Ready technology with licensed technology from Dow, but sees glyphosate as foundational well into the future.
"We will continue to have glyphosate and we will continue to have glyphosate system for as long as you can predict," he said.
"Maybe we got a little too comfortable...just becoming reliant upon glyphosate-tolerant crops," he said.
Schickler said in addition the U.S. growth, expansions are underway in international markets, notably China, where the company is expanding its breeding and production capabilities.
"It is a tremendous opportunity for us," said Schickler.