After spending years searching the eastern U.S. for just the right location for a research center, Dupont Pioneer ended up putting down roots in Champaign County near Urbana. The Ohio location offered the soils, climate and conditions just right for testing hybrids and varieties that work in the soils of the eastern Corn Belt.
The 24,000 square foot research station is a boon to the local community, but it also was designed with the intent to make sure Pioneer customers get the right product on the right acre.
“Pioneer does research on a global basis but we also want our customers to know we are testing products locally for our Ohio customer’s environment and soil types,” said Bekah Peck, DuPont Pioneer Communications manager.
The facility serves two purposes when it comes to researching new Pioneer corn hybrids and soybean varieties. Initial research on new products is being conducted out of this facility on over 100 acres at seven different locations from Napoleon to Washington Court House. Joe Stull, Research Station Manager, said they start with 35,000 to 40,000 hybrids and varieties in these plots. The goal is to find the best products and end up with 20 to 30 to move onto the next stage of development and place in the IMPACT plots.
The IMPACT (Intensively Managed Product Advancement, Characterization and Training) plots are the second purpose of the research station. There are 50 corn IMPACT plots and 40 soybean IMPACT plots across Ohio. The plots are spread around Ohio and further testing is done on the 20 to 30 hybrids and varieties that were brought out of the research portion of the program. These hybrids and varieties must perform well in the IMPACT plots before they are given a number and made available commercially. Kevin Smith DuPont Pioneer Area Manager for Northern Ohio explained the real value of the local testing.
“Through the IMPACT plots we discovered that Pioneer P0670AMX performs very well in our black wax soil in northwest Ohio,” he said. “That hybrid was brought out of testing and made available as a commercial hybrid. It has performed so well in our tough soils guys around the rest of Ohio are taking a look at it.”
As a global company, Dupont Pioneer feels they have a part in helping to feed the world and its growing population. One of the ways to accomplish this is by bringing that global focus down to a local level in Urbana, Ohio.