DES MOINES -- Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. has released 86 new Pioneer(R) brand corn hybrids, available to growers across North America for the 2007 planting season.

This includes 17 new genetic families paired with technology from the Herculex(R) family of insect protection traits and the Roundup Ready(R) Corn 2 trait.

"This new 2007 class reflects the emphasis of Pioneer research on agronomic stability and drydown with continued leadership in yield potential," says Bob Heimbaugh, North American director of corn product management for Pioneer. "In addition, this class introduces technology into our newest leader genetic platforms in stacked trait combinations being demanded by our customers.

"Our northern sales teams are excited about the technology stacks available in new genetic platforms released in 2006 and 2007, which will improve Pioneer performance, drydown and agronomic stability in the 103 through 75 CRM Zones."

Sixteen new hybrids will contain a triple stack offering of Herculex XTRA insect protection and Roundup Ready Corn 2. Herculex XTRA offers a combination of the Herculex I trait and Herculex RW rootworm protection gene, to guard against a broader range of above- and below-ground insects in corn than any other product on the market.

The Herculex I gene protects the corn plant against European and southwestern corn borer, western bean cutworm, black cutworm, fall armyworm, corn earworm, sugarcane borer, southern cornstalk borer, and lesser cornstalk borer, while the Herculex RW trait protects against western, northern and Mexican corn rootworms.

Research conducted by several Midwestern universities in 2006 confirmed that hybrids with Herculex RW or Herculex XTRA were consistently superior to other corn rootworm management options -- transgenic or soil insecticides. In 14 university trials, Pioneer hybrids with the Herculex RW gene were twice as effective in protecting against root damage, on average, as hybrids with the YieldGard(R) Rootworm gene.

Thirty-five new hybrids will offer the Herculex I gene -- 31 of which are in combination with Roundup Ready Corn 2.

To meet the continued rising demand for herbicide-resistant products, 70 of the newly released Pioneer hybrids contain the Roundup Ready Corn 2 trait. Twenty-three are hybrids with only the Roundup Ready Corn 2 trait to help provide options for refuge management. In addition, all hybrids with Herculex technology contain the LibertyLink(R) gene which provides tolerance to Liberty(R) herbicide. Liberty controls more than 100 grass and broadleaf weed species upon contact.

All Pioneer hybrids with Herculex XTRA, as well as triple stacks of Herculex XTRA with Roundup Ready Corn 2, include the Pioneer Hi-Bred premium seed treatment package. This package contains Poncho 250 insecticide plus Maxim XL and Dynasty fungicides. The synergy of this insecticide/fungicide combination offers the ultimate protection against secondary soil insects such as seed corn maggots and lower-level wireworm infestations, plus protection against seedling diseases such as Pythium or damping off, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries.

SOURCE: Pioneer Hi-Bred International news release.