Pioneer Seeks a Mighty Wind

Farmer Iron

Boreas tool designed to provide 'lab' quality blast for brittle snap tests.

Published on: February 19, 2009

There are things that can really beat down on your corn - say a quick burst of high-speed wind at just the right time. There are genetic and breeding ways that seed corn companies could overcome that, but how do you measure it.

 

In the case of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont company, the answer is Boreas, named for the Greek god of the north wind,  it's a big wind machine that can be taking right into a corn field. Able to generate wind speeds up to 100 mph, the machine offers a way for researchers to test corn hybrids in field trials and gather the data.

 

Mike Chapman, research director for corn at Pioneer, explains: "It's difficult to get the right conditions in a field trial, so we sought a way to build a machine to do the job."

 

Take a look at the picture below - the hydraulic-powered fans pump out the air and make plenty of noise. The aim is to make sure new hybrids have more strength when surprise storms hit your area.