DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel discussed growth priorities driven by key research advancements and product launches across the Agriculture and Nutrition & Health segments at Thursday’s Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Global Agriculture Conference.
“While farmers worldwide met the challenge of building grain supplies the last two years, long-term demand for agricultural production is expected to continue at the pace of the last decade, when demand for corn and soybeans increased 40 percent,” said Borel. “To meet this demand for more and better food, DuPont is delivering innovative solutions across the food value chain fueled by a robust research pipeline, which leverages our leading positions in seed, crop protection, ag services, biologicals, nutrition science and food formulation.”
Extending DuPont leadership in Agriculture and Nutrition is one of the company’s three strategic priorities to build a higher value, higher growth company. Following the separation of Performance Chemicals, the Agriculture and Nutrition & Health segments are expected to represent about half of total company sales.
Advancing Innovation in Agriculture Research Pipeline
Borel presented an update of the agriculture research pipeline for DuPont, noting six key program advancements and the addition of four research programs which have moved forward out of the discovery phase.
“Focused investments in research and development are yielding exciting innovation in our seed and crop protection pipelines and will position DuPont to better serve our customers and deliver value to our shareholders,” said Borel. “Our global pipeline reinforces our leadership in germplasm and breeding, crop protection, and our growing strength in proprietary biotechnology trait development.”
In addition, Borel highlighted near-term launches in corn by DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed and genetics business of DuPont. DuPont Pioneer launched Pioneer brand Optimum Leptra corn hybrids in the southern United States in 2014 under a stewarded program. With the recent Chinese import approval of the Agrisure Viptera trait, DuPont Pioneer will expand its U.S. lineup of Optimum Leptra corn hybrids in 2015 and expects also to launch in Brazil for the 2015/2016 Safrinha season, pending completion of field testing and applicable regulatory reviews.
DuPont Pioneer anticipates that the approaching launch of DP 4114 will help enable it to develop higher yielding corn hybrids and expand its triple-stack offerings to about half of its North American corn volume mix in the years following introduction. DP 4114 received cultivation approval in the United States and Canada in 2013 and will be tested in Pioneer’s Impact trial system in 2015. It is anticipated to launch in a stack configuration early in the second half of this decade, pending completion of field testing and applicable regulatory reviews.
In soybeans, DuPont Pioneer is making solid progress transitioning its North America soybean lineup to its newest Pioneer brand T series soybean varieties, which will account for about two-thirds of volume in 2015. This year Pioneer brand soybean varieties with the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend trait will be tested in Impact trials with first commercial sales anticipated as early as 2016, pending completion of field testing and applicable regulatory reviews.
While presenting the DuPont Crop Protection pipeline, Borel highlighted our new proprietary seed treatment solutions, including Dermacor for soybeans which we successfully launched on over 3 million acres in Brazil last summer. The DuPont Crop Protection pipeline was recently named “Best R&D Pipeline” by Agrow for the second consecutive year and third-time overall, building upon the success of innovative insect control products like Rynaxypyr and Cyazypyr. Borel noted that over the life of these products, peak annual sales for Rynaxypyr® are expected to approach $1.5 billion and for Cyazypyr are expected to exceed $500 million.
Borel also spoke about DuPont Zorvec disease control, a new low-rate mode of action fungicide for fruits and vegetables by DuPont Crop Protection. The first global launches are expected in 2015, pending regulatory approvals. DuPont believes Zorvec will provide growers with unmatched consistency and disease control to realize better crops for better business.