NEW YORK, June 5, 2007 – At an investors’ conference here today, DuPont Vice President for Crop Genetics Research & Development William S. Niebur said the company’s technologies are
helping — now and well into the future — meet the strong global demand for grain that is driven by a growing global population and increased biofuels use.
“World population growth plus gross domestic product growth means increased demand for dietary protein,” Niebur said at the Merrill Lynch Agricultural Chemical Conference. “This global mega
trend is a powerful incentive for farmers around the world to rapidly adopt technologies that will increase their productivity. We are helping increase productivity today through advanced plant
breeding and biotechnology, but this is only just the beginning.”
In the past year, DuPont seed business Pioneer Hi-Bred has increased its seed corn yield advantage by 50 percent and has significantly increased the number of products with yield enhancing
biotech traits. At the same time, Pioneer has more people working with farmers to increase yield by matching the best seed products to their specific fields and management practices.
“Farmers are looking for every opportunity to increase productivity in a profitable and sustainable manner,” Niebur said. “They recognize that biotech traits on the market today, such as the
Herculex© XTRA trait, control pests better than other options and allow them to produce increased quantities of better quality grain per acre. ”
For example, unlike the other leading biotech insect protection available for corn, the Herculex© XTRA trait controls the Western bean cutworm, which has become an increasingly troublesome
pest in the heart of the U.S. Corn Belt in recent years. Heavy infestations of Western Bean Cutworm can cut yields by as much as 30 to 40 percent.
There are a number of new advancements in the crop genetics pipeline from DuPont that will enable farmers to meet the global demand for grain, which is expected to remain strong. Niebur
highlighted four new traits that will be commercial within the next five years:
GATÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢ herbicide resistance trait will give farmers new weed control options and help boost
yields in soybeans. The trait also will be available in corn and a number of other crops in the near future.
● Increased soybean yield through molecular marker technology and biotechnology advances.
● Disease resistance for corn that will protect the corn plant from stalk rot.
● Soybean oil that will reduce trans fats, creating an oil that is more stable under frying applications. This oil also can be used as a bio-based
feedstock in industrial applications.
DuPont has integrated a number of new technologies into its crop genetics research and development effort to reduce the time it takes to bring new ideas to its customers.
“Over the past year, 44 percent of our current pipeline projects have advanced to the next phase of development,” Niebur said. “During the past two years, 90 percent of the projects have
advanced to the next phase in the pipeline. We are excited about this strong record of progress and how our teams will be able to further accelerate new product development and
commercialization going forward.”
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.