Crouched on his hands and knees under an Iowa sky, Mo Hailong quickly dug in the rows of freshly planted seed corn. Just the day before, May 2, 2011, he and coworker Wang Lei, vice chairman of Kings Nower Seed of China, stopped at this same field near Tama, Iowa. The farmer told them he was planting seed corn.
With each shovel, Hailong found pay dirt: DuPont Pioneer’s latest parent genetics, the building blocks for the next generation of high-yielding hybrids. The men hoped these seeds would help their own company keep up with global competition.