Just how many germination tests does a seed corn company need to run in one year? If it's a big company, the number is sure to be staggering. Whatever the number, Pioneer Hi-Bred International will now be able to do more of those tests at its expanded seed quality lab at its Tipton, Ind. Facility.
Pioneer unveiled a 10,000 square foot expansion at the facility last week. It represents a $1.3 million investment, company spokespersons say. The extra space will now allow the Tipton facility alone to handle 125,000 germination, vigor and purity quality tests alone. These tests are spread across a variety of seed crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and sorghum. Some of these hybrids and varieties, such as for sorghum, are for brands that will be planted elsewhere in the country, perhaps the world.
This lab is just one of a series of labs Pioneer maintains around the globe. What the expansion will do is allow the Tipton lab to be a more significant player, spokespersons say. "With the completion of this expansion, we will be able to move samples quickly among albs to help balance our testing needs more efficiently around the world," says Tom Bockhaus, Pioneer director of supply planning and logistics.
The seed quality alb at Tipton began operation in '82. It was expanded once, in '88. This marks the first major expansion on the facility since that time.
Other central seed testing facilities for Pioneer are located in Johnston, Iowa, home base for the company; Urbandale, Iowa, near Johnston; Chatham, Ontario, Canada; Aussonnne, France and Pandorf, Austria.
Pioneer labs are ISO 9001:2000 certified. Translated to layman terms, that means that the labs must meet a high set of standards related to quality management. It also means that meeting these standards is confirmed by a third party source, someone outside of the Pioneer organization itself. ISO standards are recognized in industry as important for quality assurance programs.
The seed lab unveiled officially at Tipton last week is now in operation.