At a recent media event in Johnston, Iowa, DuPont Pioneer announced that it is doubling the number of Optimum Aquamax drought-tolerant corn hybrids from 22 in 2012 to 44 in 2013. With the U.S. Drought monitor continuing to show drought as a major problem well into this month, more and more growers are asking about drought-tolerant hybrids, says Reed Mayberry, senior marketing manager, DuPont Pioneer.
DuPont Pioneer has nine facilities in the U.S. dedicated to drought research. The Optimum Aquamax hybrids are developed using the company's Accelerated Yield Technology, which involves rapid scanning and identification of specific traits. The process allows for Pioneer to deliver products faster to market than in the past.
In 2012 performance trials, Aquamax hybrids in water-limited conditions averaged a 8.9% yield advantage over competitive products. In favorable conditions, Aquamax had a 1.9% yield advantage. The Aquamax hybrids experience delayed leaf-rolling, which allows for prolonged sunlight interception.
In addition to doubling the number of drought-tolerant hybrids this year, the company also says it is tripling the amount of acres that will be planted to Aquamax in 2013.
"We are tripling the footprint. We'll be on over 6 million acres of corn [this year]," Mayberry says. "By the end of this decade, you'll start to see second generation drought products from Pioneer."
For more information, visit pioneer.com.