New Pioneer brand Optimum Aquamax products from DuPont Pioneer demonstrated a significant yield advantage in the second year of on-farm evaluations in North America during unprecedented drought conditions.

On more than 4,000 side-by-side comparisons with competitive products, preliminary 2012 yield data from Pioneer shows an advantage of more than 8 percent with Optimum Aquamax products in water-limited environments and almost a 2 percent yield advantage in favorable growing environments at locations harvested as of Sept. 27, 2012.

Across the past two growing seasons among more than 12,600 comparisons, Optimum Aquamax hybrids have shown a 7.6 percent yield advantage in water-limited environments and a 2.7 percent yield advantage in favorable growing conditions.

Over the past two years, Pioneer has released 25 Optimum Aquamax products onto the market and expects to increase that number for the 2013 growing season.

Pioneer researchers use native genes from a wide background of maize genetics to help improve drought tolerance within Optimum Aquamax products. Because drought is a complex challenge, many genes are involved in a plant’s ability to tolerate hot, dry conditions. Growers who had Aquamax products noticed increased plant staygreen, less leaf rolling and firing and improved root mass.

These comparisons by DuPont Pioneer are with hybrids other than those being promoted as new limited water use hybrids by competitive companies. How the different seed companies’ limited water use hybrids compared with each other in 2012 has not been announced by any of the companies.