DuPont Pioneer announced today the introduction of Accelerated Yield Technology 4.0 (AYT 4.0). The new enabling technology allows DuPont Pioneer researchers to more than double the annual rate of genetic gain of soybean varieties in its research pipeline, which will boost soybean yield potential in growers' fields. The new technology also is helping the company reduce the time it takes to bring new soybean products to market.

“This is revolutionary technology that is helping deliver higher yielding soybeans to market faster than ever before,” said Paul Stephens, DuPont Pioneer senior director for soybean research. “In my three decades of soybean variety improvement work, I have never seen rates of genetic gain as high as AYT 4.0 is producing.”

The average year-to-year yield improvement for soybeans in the United States is about half a bushel per acre. With AYT 4.0 Pioneer has more than doubled this rate of genetic gain of varieties in the Pioneer pipeline.

AYT 4.0 is an advanced proprietary soybean breeding approach focused on increasing yield. It uses sophisticated analytics and cutting-edge computing to evaluate millions of points of genetic data gathered across hundreds of thousands of local plots each season. By applying these results, DuPont Pioneer researchers identify and advance the highest yielding varieties within the Pioneer soybean research program.

Introduced for soybeans in 2007, the first-generation Accelerated Yield Technology system used proprietary molecular marker breeding techniques with a select group of commercial soybean varieties to enhance yield. Today, Pioneer is deploying AYT 4.0 across its entire early-stage soybean breeding program to rapidly identify the highest yielding experimental varieties for local breeding environments. The new technology coupled with other proprietary breeding techniques has allowed Pioneer to halve product development timelines to five to seven years.

“AYT 4.0 gives us the most detailed understanding of the soybean genome we’ve ever had,” said Stephens. “Just a few years ago our researchers could only dream of applying the precise breeding activities that we are routinely doing today. It is important that we continue to push the boundaries of our science to deliver better products to our customers.”

Pioneer has introduced its first commercial soybean variety using AYT 4.0, and anticipates a majority of the new varieties introduced for 2017 will be products of the new enabling technology. In the coming years, all new commercial Pioneer brand soybeans will be produced using AYT 4.0.

“Many growers are already experiencing the increased yields AYT 4.0 delivers,” Stephens said. “Pioneer variety P31T11R is the first commercial variety developed using AYT 4.0. In 2015, it delivered a yield advantage of 3.8 bu/acre* against similar maturing varieties in Iowa. This outstanding yield potential, coupled with a great defensive package, has already made it one of our top-selling varieties.”