On Thursday Pioneer Hi-Bred announced the launch of a new generation of soybean varieties that will deliver unprecedented productivity gains to North American soybean growers. In the 82-year history of Pioneer the new Y Series soybeans represent the largest volume of commercial products ever launched by the firm.
For the 2009 planting season Pioneer intends to release 32 new varieties of the Y series soybeans in quantities to plant about 9 million acres. In more than 1,800 on farm comparisons the new series has shown a 5% yield advantage against competing varieties.
"The Y Series from Pioneer represents a step-change in soybean productivity," said Paul Schickler, Pioneer president and DuPont vice president and general manager. "With the Y Series yield advantage, this new line has the potential to add about 19 million bushels of soybeans into U.S. production. In a time of tight supplies and soaring demand, that is a strong boost for producers and the industry."
Pioneer researchers employed its exclusive Accelerated Yield Technology to boost yield potential and performance of the new Y Series. Pioneer claims industry leadership in developing marker-assisted selection processes to introduce key defensive traits to protect soybean yield from harmful pests such as soybean cyst nematode, Phytophthora root rot and brown stem rot.
John Soper, senior research director, explains that AYT works through the concept of seeking out the genes are more prevalent in soybeans today versus the great-, great-, great-grandparent soybeans in the company's inventory. "It stands to reason that yield has been the number one goal for plant breeders so they have been selecting for that trait," he explains. "We searched those modern plants and determined which genes were more present today versus those in the past."
Schickler adds that "the Y Series generation of Pioneer soybean varieties represents the combination of all of our industry-leading soybean research capabilities into a single game-changing package. It is a great example of how Pioneer will increase soybean yields by 40% in the next 10 years."