JOHNSTON - As DuPont Pioneer devotes one third of its staff to research and development, finding solutions faster is creating new yield-boosting resources for farmers in Iowa and beyond.
"We're not just looking at the things farmers need today, but 10 years from now," said Rik Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection. "We're focused on providing new tools for farmers' toolboxes."
These tools include superior plant genetics, Miller said. DuPont laboratories evaluate millions of plant samples each year for "genetic fingerprinting" to determine which combinations of genes offer the highest likelihood to succeed as a crop.
-Messenger photo by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby
Paul Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer, noted that the company’s new Innovation Center in Johnston will focus on agriculture and food security.
"We're producing 10 times as much data as we were five years ago," said John Arbuckle, senior research director for Pioneer. "As the world's population continues to grow, the need to develop crop solutions faster and more efficiently becomes more important than ever."
There's an app for that
As part of these efforts, DuPont has developed a new mobile app that features three agronomy tools to help local growers with this season's management decisions. The user-friendly Pioneer Field360 Tools app features a growing degree unit estimator, precipitation estimator and growth stage estimator.
"Conveniently packaging DuPont agronomy expertise into one mobile application that growers can use to make decisions anywhere they farm is one of the benefits of the new Pioneer Field360 Tools app," said Matt Snyder, DuPont product manager.
This simple, yet powerful, app is a useful tool for crop scouting.
"You can snap a photo of a disease lesion and e-mail it to your Pioneer agronomist, and the area is automatically geo-referenced," said Justin Heath, new services manager for DuPont Pioneer.
The app has improved usability, requiring one-time input of location, start date and comparative relative maturity.
Growers can easily navigate between the calculators within the Pioneer Field360 Tools app without re-entering data, Snyder said.
This new app combines powerful analysis tools and real-time data. Growers are able to track multiple field scenarios, including progress of the crop with a growth stage estimator, view precipitation forecasts and daily precipitation and assess key crop stages. The Pioneer app can also estimate harvest dates for each Pioneer brand corn hybrid planted.
This is just the start of mobile technology to come, Heath added. "There are a lot of exciting new tools coming out in the next 18 months."
Simplifying the complex
DuPont Pioneer is also doubling its number of sales agronomists to help growers navigate the massive amounts of data in agriculture today and better understand how this information impacts their local area.
"Complexity is the new word in agriculture," said Mike Hoger, area business manager for the central Midwest for DuPont Crop Protection. "Growers are looking for new solutions, and we're here to offer options."
One of these options is DuPont's Prevathon Insect Control powered by Rynaxypyr.
Prevathon delivers effective crop protection to even those pests that have developed resistance to products with other modes of action. The product controls corn earworms and European corn borers to reduce crop damage while increasing crop quality and yield.
"This product is safe to humans and beneficial insects like bees," said Hoger, who noted that Prevathon offers long-lasting residual control.
A new fungicide from Pioneer, Approach, also offers a new tool to boost yield potential, Hoger said. In addition to providing foliar health benefits, Approach controls white mold, which can cut yields in half in some cases.
"Not only are we developing new crop protection products, but we're looking for ways to extend the life of older, effective chemistries," Hoger said. "It's an exciting time to be in agriculture, and we're using science to meet today's challenges."