JOHNSTON, Iowa -- DuPont told Wall Street analysts visiting its plant genetics business and research campus that its new patented Seed Production Technology will reduce the cost of the mechanical and labor-intensive process for creating its high-yielding hybrid seed corn by more than 20 percent in the field, while increasing product quality at the same time.

The proprietary system, which eliminates the need for hand and mechanical means of controlling pollen flow between the two parent lines, is in wide-scale testing this year. DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred will pilot Seed Production Technology in production seed fields in North America in 2010 and intends to have the first seed produced with the system available to farmers in 2011.

"This new technology will be great for our customers and for us," said DuPont Vice President & General Manager and Pioneer Hi-Bred President Paul E. Schickler, noting he expects the technology to be effective across genetics.

"For Pioneer, we won't have the associated cost of the labor, machinery or fuel. Our fields will produce more because they will not be damaged as much as the traditional seed production process. With Seed Production Technology's capability to strengthen pollen management, we are increasing the quality of the industry-leading products we deliver to customers.

"At peak sales in several years, Seed Production Technology is expected to provide us with more than $100 million annual cost savings opportunity in productivity improvement," Schickler said. "In seed fields where Seed Production Technology is used, most of the value will come from a 15 to 30 percent increase in field management productivity. Pollen management -- known as "detasseling" -- makes up 10 percent of the total cost of producing seed corn. This cost will be eliminated when the new technology is applied.

"Seed Production Technology is just one of many initiatives that will keep the momentum building for Pioneer into the future," Schickler added. "Agriculture economic fundamentals are strong. Customers are responding positively to the products and services we are delivering today. And we have a great pipeline of products and technologies for the future."

Schickler said last week that he expects Pioneer will grow both its top- and bottom-line by more than 15 percent in 2009. DuPont has committed to grow compounded annual earnings in its Agriculture & Nutrition segment by greater than 15 percent through 2013. Pioneer gained more than two points of the seed corn market share -- the industry's largest gain -- in North America this year. It also increased its leading position in the North America soybean market by three points and gained five points of share in the Canadian canola seed market.

In addition to Seed Production Technology, DuPont also discussed:

  • Pioneer's North America business and plans to continue to increase seed corn and soybean market share.
  • Strong growth opportunities for the Pioneer business internationally.
  • Plant genetics regulatory approval timelines.
  • The differentiating, sustainable "Right Product. Right Acre(SM)" strategy that focuses on delivering products and services to meet specific needs of individual customers.

  • Today's presentations reinforced DuPont's recently announced commitment to focus on meeting four emerging global trends, one of which is increasing food production.

    DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

    SOURCE: DuPont via PR Newswire