DuPont Executive Vice President James Collins discussed priorities for the company’s agriculture segment at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 Global Agriculture and Chemicals Conference – including plans to deliver an innovation pipeline of new genetics, biotech traits and crop protection products.
“With the recent changes we have made to simplify and streamline our organization, I am focused squarely on Agriculture with three clear priorities – delivering our 2016 cost savings and operating earnings commitments, ensuring we deliver our exciting pipeline in agriculture, and completing the proposed merger of equals with The Dow Chemical Company, including achieving the cost and growth synergies in agriculture,” said Collins. “While markets remain dynamic, we are not seeing anything significantly different in agriculture market conditions from what we communicated in January as part of our fourth quarter 2015 earnings release. As we look to the future, our teams are very excited about the proposed merger, the intended separation and the opportunity we have to create the world’s leading production agriculture business.”
An increasing global population and a rapidly expanding middle-class’s desire for more and better food are expected to continue to drive sustainable growth in demand for grain and other agricultural products over the long-term. With limited opportunities for new land to be put into production, the world will need increased productivity on every acre. “This creates attractive long-term growth opportunities for DuPont Agriculture to address these challenges through a continuing commitment to productive innovation,” said Collins.
A Robust Innovation Pipeline in Agriculture
Collins provided an update on the agriculture research pipeline for DuPont, including near-term launches of new corn and soybean genetics, DuPont Leptra corn hybrids in Brazil, Qrome corn hybrids in North America, Zorvec disease control products and Pyraxalt insect control products.
“The outstanding performance of our new corn hybrids and soybean varieties is testament to the focused investments we have made in recent years and our leadership in the use of advanced breeding technologies,” said Collins.
Qrome corn hybrids will unlock the full yield potential of Pioneer’s broad germplasm base and are expected to be launched as early as 2017, pending regulatory approvals, according to the company. Qrome products will allow for higher yielding corn hybrids faster and enable rapid transition to multiple modes-of-action for below-ground insect protection. Over several years of wide-area research testing, Qrome products have outperformed legacy corn-rootworm trait technology by an average of 4 to 7 bushels per acre, the company claims.
Leptra corn hybrids were recently launched for Brazil’s Safrinha season. Leptra corn hybrids are a unique, three-trait stack offering broad-spectrum above-ground insect control and can be purchased in Brazil with the additional protection of DuPont Dermacor seed treatment. Leptra corn hybrids are expected to be one of the fastest technology ramps in Pioneer history with broad hybrid availability representing as much as a third of Pioneer volume for the 2016 summer season.
Collins spoke about DuPont Zorvec disease control, a new low-rate mode of action fungicide for fruits and vegetables by DuPont Crop Protection, with several launches expected globally in 2016, pending regulatory approvals. DuPont believes Zorvec will provide growers with unmatched consistency and disease control.
DuPont’s insect control pipeline remains productive as DuPont Pyraxalt, which has been specifically developed to protect rice crops in Asia, is nearing launch with first sales expected in 2018. With novel activity for control of a wide spectrum of hopper insects in rice, Pyraxalt is expected to set a new standard for high potency, low use rate with a favorable environmental profile, the company claims.
To view a full copy of the presentation, visit the “Events & Presentations” page on the DuPont Investor Center.