, Farm Journal Crops & Issues Editor
How much corn will be planted in 2009? If anyone should have a clue it's Paul Schickler. The President of Pioneer Hi-Bred and vice president and general manager DuPont says he's heard everywhere from 81 to 91 million acres, but he figures it will settle somewhere around the 86 million acre mark. "We expect a slight uptick in soybean acreage coming from increases in the South," he says.
Schickler gave an update on Pioneer's business yesterday during the "Breaking the Seed Barrier" press conference being held on Pioneer's Campus in Johnston, Iowa.
"We're very excited about 2009 prospects. Our early sales were well ahead of sales targets. There's a regeneration of enthusiasm among our sales reps and we continue to build our business based on knowing our customer and where our products fit on their farm," he says.
Farmers are getting a big taste of the company's new technology efforts this year in the new "Y" series soybeans. At least 9 million acres of the new seed line are expected to be planted in 2009--making it the largest release in the company's history. Schickler says Pioneer maintains a 24% to 25% marketshare in the soybean seed industry. In corn, the company holds a 30% industry share through their Pioneer-brand hybrids and has access to another 5% share through affiliated regional companies.
This year Schickler says farmers should watch for demonstration trials of the company's Optimum Acre Max products with a full commercial launch in 2010, pending regulatory approvals. Optimum GAT corn-is on a similar timeline with Optimum GAT soybeans being launched in 2011, pending regulatory approvals. Five new DuPont herbicides designed for crops containing the Optimum GAT traits will be released in tandem with the trait.
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