Monsanto and Dupont Pioneer announced today “a series of technology licensing agreements.” These agreements will expand the range of seed products they can offer farmers. The agreements include a multi-year, royalty-bearing license for Monsanto’s next-generation soybean technologies in the United States and Canada.
I spoke with Lisa Safarian, Monsanto, US Row Crops lead, to get some details.
Some of the details include:
Through these agreements, DuPont Pioneer will be able to offer Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans as early as 2014, and Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans as early as 2015, pending regulatory approvals.
DuPont Pioneer also will receive regulatory data rights for the soybean and corn traits previously licensed from Monsanto, enabling it to create a wide array of stacked trait combinations using traits or genetics from DuPont Pioneer or others. Monsanto will receive access to certain DuPont Pioneer disease resistance and corn defoliation patents.
There are quite a few dollars involved in the agreement that include four annual fixed royalty payments from 2014 to 2017 totaling $802 million for trait technology, associated data, and soybean lines to support commercial introduction. Additionally, beginning in 2018, DuPont Pioneer will pay royalties on a per unit basis of Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield® and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ for the life of the agreement for continued technology access, subject to annual minimum payments through 2023 totaling $950 million.
Additionally, the companies agreed to dismiss their respective antitrust and first-generation Roundup Ready® soybean patent lawsuits pending in U.S. federal court in St. Louis.
You can listen to my interview with Lisa here: Interview with Lisa Safarian
Dupont Pioneer held a news conference at the recent Commodity Classic to introduce a new set of services.
The focus of the press conference was the new Pioneer Field360 services. These new services are meant to help farmers increase productivity and profitability by providing more control of field-by-field data without having to become a technical expert.
The Pioneer Field360 Services include agronomic decision support tools which are ready for this growing season. They include Pioneer Field360 Notes which streamlines and organizes field-by-field agronomic information among the farmer and Dupont Pioneer agronomists and sales professionals. It is mobile access ready by being compatible with iPad, iPhone and Android devices. There’s also a Plantability App to scan seed tags to indicate suggested planter settings.
Also coming later this season will be Pioneer Field360 Select which is a mobile subscription service. Like the others this service is mobile device compatible.
Listen to or download the Dupont Pioneer press conference here: Dupont Pioneer Press Conference
2013 Commodity Classic Photo Album
Dupont Pioneer held a press conference this morning to announce a new series of Pioneer brand soybeans – the T Series (pdf). I participated in the call so you can listen to what was said including opening comments from Don Schafer, soybean marketing manager, and Dr. Jessie Alt, research scientist. It looks like there will be new product available throughout the soybean growing regions. The new soybean line also included a new product numbering system (pdf) similar to that of Pioneer corn products.
A new series of Pioneer® brand soybean products, developed through the innovative DuPont Pioneer Accelerated Yield Technology (AYT™) process, will bring soybean growers across North America a broad range of high yielding varieties. The new line of soybean products – named the T Series – includes 39 new products and will be introduced in this year.
Signaling an exciting new era in soybean production, the T Series supports soybean growers committed to seeking the right product for the right acre on their soybean fields. Available in seven maturity groups, T Series products represent the largest number of soybean varieties advanced in a single year by Pioneer. The new T Series varieties succeed the popular Pioneer Y Series soybeans introduced several years ago.
“The next generation T Series soybean products provides growers a total package that helps them gain the most from every acre,” says Don Schafer, DuPont Pioneer senior marketing manager – soybeans. “A step change from earlier offerings, the T Series is a direct result of the AYT system that allows Pioneer soybean breeders to maximize yield potential, agronomic traits and resistance to yield-robbing pests.”
Listen to Don describe this new product launch here: Don Schafer Remarks
Listen to Jessie talk about the AYT system here: Jessie Alt Remarks
You can also listen to and/or download the full press conference call here: Pioneer T-Series Press Call
My American Farm, the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s online interactive education program, received a huge investment from Dupont Pioneer that was announced at the beginning of the annual meeting here in Nashville. It is a $250,000 investment that will support new games and resources, increased outreach to K-12 stakeholders and a mobile application.
I learned more about it by speaking with Susan Bunz, vice president of policy and outreach for Dupont Pioneer. She says that the company actively promotes science education with a goal of attracting more students to study and pursue careers in sciences including agriculture.
During the stage presentation one lucky state farm bureau – North Dakota – received an interactive My American Farm kiosk to use at events around the state.
You can listen to my interview with Susan here: Interview with Susan Bunz
2013 American Farm Bureau Convention Photo Album
The American Seed Trade Association is looking ahead to the future of the seed industry and developing a new long range plan.
“We’ve always had a five year strategic plan which gives us direction for where we want the association to go and it was time to refresh that,” said ASTA immediate past chairman Mike Gumina of DuPont Pioneer. To do that, they got input from membership across the board and identified several key issues to address. “The areas that were identified by the membership were: intellectual property rights protection, having our impact on domestic policy as it influences the seed business, state and local issues that influence the seed business, our international programs and our communication programs,” Mike said.
Under the communications banner, Mike says they are really reaching out to a number of audiences including ag media and grower organizations, as well as general media and government. “Getting the story out on seed, the importance of seed, the value of seed, the value of technology and the value of the productivity it brings to all of humanity is really an important message to get out,” he said.
Also important to the future is people and Mike says DuPont Pioneer has started a program to bring young industry professionals to ASTA events so they can get a broader view of the industry. “It’s an opportunity for them to see the broader picture of what’s going on in the seed industry, to understand how ASTA is engaged in policy setting and helping to eliminate issues that are creating barriers to business success in the industry,” he said.
Listen to my interview with Mike here: Interview with Mike Gumina
ASTA-CSS Photo Album
The Lacek Group has a full team assembled for the Dupont Pioneer account. Here they are in the Minneapolis office. Pictured from the left, Myrna Krueger, Kristina Entzminger, Jesse Riebe, Kim Le, Evan Davies, Melissa Norby, Amy Herman, Cole Thompson. Second row: Pete Abell, Jim Adler, Vinny Matassa, Amy Karls, Tricia Severson, Steve Pederson, Kristina Fenner. Third Row: Melissa Huset, Rachel Rabaey, David Carson, Jim Jarvis, Greg Goranson, David Yussen, Jay Walsh. Fourth Row: Elizabeth Kern, Mark Francel. Not pictured, Alan Bell, Amber Heinrich, Elizabeth Holum, Rosa Gatzios, Jay Larson and Randy Olson.
The DuPont Pioneer team at The Lacek Group consists of more than 25 people who possess a wide variety of talents in traditional and digital media. The Lacek Group was retained earlier in 2012 by DuPont Pioneer to handle the company’s full spectrum of marketing communications for the U.S. This includes advertising, digital communications, trade media relations and custom publishing.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to build a talented team from the ground up,” says Evan Davies, partner and group account director. “We’ve added great talent at all levels and are excited to support the DuPont Pioneer commitment to putting the right product on the right acre.”
Photo Caption: The DuPont Pioneer team at The Lacek Group includes:
Drought hasn’t yet been moved to the back burner as companies like Dupont Pioneer make it a priority to engineer products to help farmers in times of uncontrollable circumstances. National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Trade Talk gave agri-businesses a voice to share their latest products.
I sat down with Janelle Buxton, Marketing Communication Manager in Corn for Dupont Pioneer. She was excited to share a fairly new product farmers can take advantage of, Optimum AQUAmax. This corn hybrid is for water-limited environments, but also increases yield in normal conditions.
“One of the primary products that I work on is a drought tolerant corn hybrid. It’s one of Pioneers newest elite class of hybrids. Essentially what these Optimum AQUAmax products do is help deliver yield advantage in water-limited environments, much like the year we have had would be considered water limited. It then offers top-end yield potential in more normal growing conditions. Optimum AQUAmax products were launched in January 2011 in the western US in those areas that are chronically dry and then expanded to about 2 million acres in 2012.”
“In yield performance we saw that in over 11,200 on-farm grower competitive trials, with similar traited products, we saw a yield advantage of Optimum AQUAmax of about 8.9% in those water-limited environments. In more favorable growing conditions we saw 1.9% yield advantage.”
Listen to my complete interview with Janelle here: Janelle Buxton - Dupont Pioneer
2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album
What is ahead for global agriculture? Now there’s a question that can’t be easy to answer. But that’s the task Steve Elmore, Economics Director, Dupont Pioneer, had this morning at the AgroNomics Conference.
Steve provided attendees with information on the current major factors influencing agriculture. By understanding what these are ASFMRA members can draw more informed conclusions about the current and future health of this economic sector. There’s a lot of information in this presentation so I just recorded it all for your listening and learning pleasure.
Listen to Steve’s remarks here: Remarks from Steve Elmore
2012 Agronomics Photo Album
AgWired coverage of the ASFMRA Agronomics Conference is sponsored by Halderman Farm Management.
Harvest is progressing at a faster than average pace this year and yield data continues to stream into Pioneer.com/yield. The variability in weather experienced throughout the growing season will impact yields this fall. For a quick snapshot of harvest yields in your area and across the country, visit www.pioneer.com/yield.
The Pioneer yield site provides a brief summary of each plot as well as a detailed individual plot report with competitive comparisons, planting information and harvest data. The process to find local yield results and comparisons is easy. Simply select a crop, zip code and preferred radius to obtain a custom view of harvest yields in your area of interest.
As harvest continues to progress, visit www.pioneer.com/yield to see how Pioneer and other products are performing in your area and across the country.
There was a lot of talk during the Farm Progress Show this year about the epic drought and how it was impacting growers across the country. Brent Wilson, DuPont Pioneer technical services manager, was out interacting with growers and when talking with them heard quite often that they just want to put the epic drought of 2012 behind them.
That leads to the question, what should growers be doing to get prepared for 2013? Wilson responded by putting together a list of key things DuPont Pioneer agronomists are doing to help growers prepare for next season. One question that was asked and answered during the press conference was, What impact will the drought have on product positioning for 2013?
A product getting a lot of buzz during the show was Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax™ products. Wilson said while they were originally developed for the Western corn belt where you see lower yields, the product lineup can also offer top-end yield potential in optimal growing conditions.
Some other issues Wilson brought to the field to think about included understanding maturity issues, knowing what trait packages as far as insect and disease and herbicide resistance are available and learning about the newest genetics that can be incorporated into a growers lineup that will help to increase overall yield potential.
While I have simply posed the questions Wilson suggests asking, he also answered them. To hear more details about the key things growers should consider when planning for the 2013 growing season, listen to the full press conference. Key Tips for 2013 Growing Season
2012 Farm Progress Show Photo Album
Caitlin Keck has been named communications coordinator for the DuPont Pioneer global forages team. Keck will provide marketing and communications support for the Pioneer corn silage, alfalfa and inoculants product lines.
Prior to joining the global forages team, Keck was a Pioneer agronomist in York, Neb., with the Pioneer Emerging Leaders Program. Keck is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn., where she received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural education, leadership and communications with a double minor in animal science and Spanish.
Keck brings a solid agricultural background to the forages team. She grew up on a dairy farm near Owatonna, Minn., and was involved in several agricultural organizations during her university career, including National Collegiate Agricultural Ambassador Program, Gopher Dairy Club, Collegiate Agricultural Women, the International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership Program and the Minnesota FFA Association.
It’s time for Sweden and the 2012 International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress in and around the Stockholm area. I’m leaving in the morning and should have some of my first coverage starting on late Tuesday.
I’d like to extend a special thank you to Dupont Pioneer for once again sponsoring my coverage of this annual event. Dupont Pioneer has supported my coverage and IFAJ since my first Congress years ago.
Monsanto Company has won a patent infringement trial in the U.S. District Court against DuPont Pioneer over the use of Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready® technology.
In rendering its verdict, the federal jury found that DuPont (NYSE: DD) and DuPont Pioneer had willfully infringed Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready® technology when it tried to patch the problems with DuPont’s own Optimum® GAT® (OGAT) technology that had failed in earlier development. The jury awarded damages of $1 billion to Monsanto based on DuPont’s willful infringement of its technology and the improper head start that DuPont obtained when it infringed Monsanto’s technology rights. The finding of willful infringement could lead to an increased award of damages in the case.
Monsanto originally filed suit against DuPont and DuPont Pioneer in May 2009. The lawsuit sought to prevent the unlicensed combination of Monsanto’s proprietary Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant technologies in soybeans and corn with DuPont’s problem plagued OGAT. DuPont had been offered a license at multiple times prior to and throughout the duration of the trial, but the Delaware-based company refused to accept the offer from Monsanto Company.
DuPont will appeal the verdict, according to a company press release:
DuPont strongly disagrees with the verdict that was reached in favor of Monsanto in Monsanto’s patent case against Du Pont in the United States District Court in St. Louis, Missouri. There were several fundamental errors in the case which deprived the jury of important facts and arguments and led to the disappointing outcome. DuPont will appeal at the earliest possible opportunity and expects to overturn this verdict.
Welcome Amy Herman and Melissa Norby (below) to the Dupont Pioneer public relations team.
The Ogilvy public relations team is up and running from The Lacek Group office in Minneapolis. Amy Herman and Melissa Norby will serve as the main agency contacts alongside Jerry Harrington with all DuPont Pioneer agricultural trade media contacts and inquiries.
For all you ag journalist out there who are attending next week’s Ag Media Summit. You can find Amy and Melissa there They will also be at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA. They are looking forward to connecting with you.
I’ll see them and you there!
Beginning this weekend you’ll see a new name for Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. As of July 1 it will be known as DuPont Pioneer. According to information I received the change is a part of the company extending DuPont’s efforts in the agricultural and food industries. The change in the name is to reflect a joint mission to find solutions to ensure that the world’s growing population has enough food. The new DuPont Pioneer name reflects this joint commitment, allowing DuPont and Pioneer to work closer together, strengthening their alignment publicly.
The DuPont Pioneer goal remains the same – to provide the best products, services and information to help growers get the highest return on every acre they farm. Nothing in that commitment will change, and Pioneer remains an important brand as it has been for more than 85 years.
The apps for ag just keep coming. Here’s a new one from Pioneer that gives corn growers a way to make a difficult decision on replanting. It’s the Replant Calculator.
The tool helps producers decide whether to keep their current stand or replant where their crops have been impacted by weather, pests or other issues.
The calculator is available on Mobile Pioneer.com via the tools section, which can be accessed through the main navigation menu. It takes into account the original date for planting, original stand target and resulting plant population, and the possible replanting date. Growers are asked to consider their own likely replanting seed and input costs. The calculator presents both scenarios, current stand and replant stand, and provides estimates associated with each choice.
The timing of a replant decision means growers could evaluate different aspects of crop production. Early decisions often are based on plant stand and plant distribution. As the season moves on, the calendar becomes the key factor because yields decline with delayed planting. That said, replanting might not necessarily guarantee a grower will achieve the expected yield if the date is delayed enough.
The replant calculator is based on a long-standing chart developed by Dr. Emerson Nafziger of the University of Illinois and widely used across the Corn Belt, which illustrates the effects of planting date and plant population of grain yield for the central Corn Belt. The new calculator also takes into account the current shift to higher populations, as suggested by Pioneer research and data.
Mobile Pioneer.com is optimized for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Blackberry and feature phones. It uses technology that provides geography-specific content, reducing the steps required to reach useful information.
During Commodity Classic Pioneer Hi-Bred was talking about farmers getting FIT®. At first I thought this was a new exercise program but it is actually the Pioneer FIT® Harvest Mapping System. I got the full explanation from John Chism, Pioneer Senior Marketing Manager. He says FIT stands for Field Information Tool.
As farmers look to 2012 planting John says the Pioneer FIT Studio software allows them to tie into their dedicated mapping center which provides high quality color maps on a rapid turn around basis. Here’s a description of how it works:
Move your yield monitor and GPS receiver to your tractor before planting – your Pioneer sales representative can help you with this. After planting, your local sales rep submits your GPS enabled planting data to the Pioneer Mapping Center and within a few weeks will provide you with high quality planting maps. These maps provide a visual reference of what products and traits are present and can help you apply the right herbicides and insecticides on the right acre.
In addition, you can easily identify the hybrids and varieties planted in each field and the date they were planted and at what planting rates, augmenting or replacing traditional handwritten planting notes.
Listen to my interview with John to learn more here: Interview with John Chism
2012 Commodity Classic Photo Album
During the recent Pioneer Hi-Bred media event, “Turning Insight Into Action,” Chet Holingshead visited with Steve Mirshak, Global Business Director for Dupont Cellulosic Ethanol. Steve conducted a presentation titled, “DCE – Achieving Sustainable Residue Harvest Goals for Energy Independence.” The company is constructing a cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, IA with construction to start later this year. Steve talks about the planned 27.5 million gallon plant which will be built on land purchased from Lincolnway Energy. He says there are synergies with working closely with Lincolnway Energy.
The biomass that will be used in the plant will be corn stover. Steve says the goal is to collect about 2 tons of stover per acre from area growers. The stover will be bound into rectangular bales and stored until needed at the plant. He says that corn growers who work with Dupont Cellulosic Ethanol will find that this market and use of stover will fit nicely into their residue management program.
You can listen to Chet’s interview with Steve here:Interview with Steve Mirshak
Pioneer Hi-Bred has been a major sponsor of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 for many years – now the DuPont business will be title sponsor for the May NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Iowa Speedway.
The Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 will be held Sunday, May 20, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
“This is a great event for the state of Iowa,” said Todd Frazier, Pioneer business director for Iowa and Missouri. “The race shines a spotlight on the state and helps showcase how Iowa agriculture is stepping up to the challenge to help meet the food and fuel needs of the world.”
Last year marked the first time Iowa Speedway hosted two NASCAR Nationwide Series events in the same season. The May 2011 Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway was a standing-room-only event, and the race was one of the highest attended events in speedway history with over 37,000 people.
Pioneer has helped sponsor NASCAR Nationwide and IndyCar events at Iowa Speedway for several years. This marks its first event as a title sponsor. In addition, Pioneer will be the pole sponsor of the second NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season at the Iowa Speedway in August.
“Given that a majority of our fan base is tied into and around agriculture, it is a natural fit that Pioneer Hi-Bred has come on as the title sponsor for our first NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season,” said Iowa Speedway vice president of Sales and Marketing Chuck Spicer. “Pioneer’s presence at Iowa Speedway will enhance a race fan’s experience while out here on race weekend. From pre-race week promotions to at-track activation, fans will be the forefront of what we do.”
During Commodity Classic Pioneer Hi-Bred held a press conference titled, “Innovations in Drought Tolerance: Delivering Rain or Shine.” This featured feature Pioneer’s research innovations in drought-tolerant corn hybrids, 2011 performance data on Optimum® AQUAmaxTM hybrids, and improved management options for growers. On hand was Jeff Schussler, Senior Research Manager.
Results from actual on-farm trials in 2011 show Optimum® AQUAmaxTM corn hybrids from DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred provide a yield advantage for growers over competitive hybrids in water-limited environments as well as under more favorable growing conditions.
Field evaluations of the Optimum AQUAmax hybrids also are providing Pioneer corn breeders with an improved understanding of why these products perform better in drought conditions, giving researchers greater confidence as they move forward to develop still better products for producers.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Commodity Classic, Jeff Schussler, Pioneer senior research manager, said these research results show that Pioneer breeders have selected positive native traits to develop Optimum AQUAmax hybrids.
“It’s very rewarding to see large-scale, on-farm field testing validate the performance of Optimum AQUAmax hybrids,” Schussler says. “And we have begun to gather a solid understanding of the mechanisms of drought tolerance within these hybrids as we advance development of future Optimum AQUAmax hybrids.”
You can find the full release here.
Listen to or download the press conference with Jeff here: Pioneer Press Conference
2012 Commodity Classic Photo Album