News last update:6 Aug 2012

DuPont invests in modified seeds

DuPont Co., the largest US corn-seed producer, plans to boost the production of genetically modified seed to meet surging demand in 2008, due to increased use for ethanol production and animal feed.

DuPont, based in Wilmington, Delaware, US, this year will sell 50% more modified corn seed to North American farmers, J. Erik Fyrwald, agriculture group vice president said.

Sales of so-called double- and triple-stacked seeds were capped by a production shortfall. Triple-stacked seeds resist weedkillers and two types of insects. Fyrwald said that they are not running out of seed, but "our best products with stacked traits, we don't have at the full volume. We will have that next year."

Global demand for food and animal feed, as well as grain-derived fuels such as ethanol, create extra growth opportunities, notably for modified seeds. Corn prices are up 75% from a year ago.

DuPont's Pioneer seed unit is catching up with Monsanto Co., the world's largest developer of engineered seeds, Fyrwald said. DuPont in December said it will cut $100 million in costs at 10 sites that make crop chemicals, eliminating 1,500 jobs. The savings will be used to speed the development of new seeds.

Related links: DuPont seeds, Monsanto seeds

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