Pioneer Hi-Bred has a new generation of corn hybrids developed and tested to deliver a yield advantage in water-limited environments, allowing growers to minimize risk and maximize productivity. Optimum Aquamax hybrids, available for this year’s planting, contain a collection of native-corn traits that improve water access and utilization. They deliver greater yields in water-limited conditions.

Optimum Aquamax innovations include five hybrid platforms across a range of maturities and technology packages, according to Pioneer officials. While the 2011 launch size is limited, the technology advancement is an important milestone toward the longer-term objective of bringing breeding and biotechnology solutions to drought-prone environments.
In on-farm and research trials, the Optimum Aquamax hybrids averaged a 5 percent yield advantage over leading commercially available competitors and other Pioneer corn hybrids. The performance is validated through on-farm testing in water-limited environments throughout the western Corn Belt. From 2008 to 2010, Optimum Aquamax hybrids were tested in 223 water-limited efficiency trials concentrated in Nebraska, California, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

“The Optimum Aquamax products are another example of Pioneer’s right-product, right-acre strategy, which focuses on optimizing productivity and profitability for our growers,” says Paul Schickler, president of Pioneer Hi-Bred. “This further demonstrates the research that Pioneer has dedicated to drought tolerance for more than 50 years.”  

Drought is a complex issue and can affect crops differently, depending on the geography and stress factors of each environment. “There is no single gene or ‘silver bullet’ solution for the drought complex,” Schickler notes. “Managing crops in drought-stressed environments is critically important to achieving performance results.”

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