Attend a Pioneer field day during the coming growing season and you could see a few new seed signs.
Pioneer Purchases Partners
The consolidation continues. Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Company, has acquired two more independent seed companies. Seed Consultants Inc., of Washington Court House, Ohio, and Terral Seed of Lake Providence, La., were previously affiliated with Pioneer through the company’s PROaccess business strategy. Under that distribution agreement, Seed Consultants distributed products under the Pioneer owned trademark Supreme EX and Terral distributed REV brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties.
In December, Pioneer acquired Hoegemeyer Hybrids, Hooper, Neb., distributor of HPT brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties; NuTech Seed, Ames, Iowa, distributor of G2 brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties; and AgVenture Inc., Kentland, Ind., which distributes VPMaxx brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties. AgVenture’s 39 regional seed companies remain independently owned and managed. Pioneer also sells a complete lineup of corn and soybean seed under the Curry brand.
The PROaccess network of partnerships and brands was introduced in 2008 to increase Pioneer’s seed market reach through co-brands, second brands and investments. Company spokesperson Bridget Anderson says the recent acquisitions make the relationship between Pioneer and the companies more permanent. "We don’t foresee immediate changes," she says. "Pioneer has no intention of discontinuing company names or brands and plans to preserve the distribution strategy and relationships the companies currently have with their customers."
Three independent U.S. companies remain under the PROaccess umbrella: Beck’s Hybrids, Atlanta, Ind., distributor of XL brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties; Burrus Hybrids, Arenzville, Ill., distributor of Power Plus brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties; and Doebler’s PA Hybrids, Jersey Shore, Pa., distributor of RPM brand corn hybrids and soybean varieties. Anderson says Pioneer will continue to have various agreements with partners.
That halo over your corn field has nothing to do with heavenly intervention. Research by several Midwestern universities shows that transgenic corn protects neighboring non-Bt corn from European corn borers. These moths can’t distinguish between Bt and non-Bt corn, so females lay eggs in both kinds of fields.
Bt corn was planted on 63% of U.S. corn acres in 2009. University of Illinois Extension entomologist Mike Gray says this widespread use led to area-wide pest suppression. Growers with non-Bt acres experience yield savings without the cost of Bt technology fees and thus receive more than half the benefits from growing Bt corn in the region.
"We’ve assumed for some time that economic benefits were accruing, even among producers who opted not to plant Bt hybrids," says Gray, co-author of the study. "However, once quantified, the magnitude of this benefit was even more impressive."
New Weed Weapon
So you think you have a textbook case of common waterhemp? Identifying troublesome weeds has become more important in this age of herbicide resistance. A new book, Weeds of the Midwestern United States and Central Canada, can help you identify 356 of the most common and ornery weeds in these regions.
Authors Charles Bryson and Michael DeFelice, who previously teamed up on Weeds of the South, draw on the expertise of more than 40 weed scientists and botanists and provide color photos of each specimen at the seed, seedling, plant and flower stages.
The book is available for $44.95 from the University of Georgia Press, (800) 266-5842 or www.ugapress.org.
- February 2011