A new genetically modified soybean seed engineered by DuPont is making fast inroads with farmers and comes as the company is increasing spending on new seed development, a top DuPont official said Mar. 17.
The Y Series soybean will likely account for two-thirds of the company’s North American soybean sales this year, up from one-third in 2009, DuPont executive vice-president James Borel said at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago. Borel oversees DuPont’s production agriculture businesses, including corn and soybean seed developer Pioneer Hi-Bred.
“Y Series is really ramping up rapidly,” Borel said.
The new soybeans, which have shown to out-yield competitive varieties by as much as 10 per cent, marked the largest product launch in Pioneer’s 83-year history, and are part of a new product lineup that DuPont hopes will help boost soybean yields by 40 per cent by 2018.
DuPont’s market share in soybeans in North America stands at roughly 26 per cent, Borel said, and was projected to edge up this year.
Borel said DuPont was largely receptive to a U. S. probe into concentration and antitrust issues in the seed industry, though any efforts to weaken patent protection for biotech seeds would be a concern.