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DuPont Pioneer Launches Yield Contest in South Africa

Company collaborates with farmers to drive progress in research initiatives and maize, soybean yield


Johannesburg, South Africa September 1, 2015 – DuPont Pioneer today unveiled the very first annual Weigh to Win national yield competition for maize and soybean farmers in South Africa. ; The competition is open to all South African grain farmers and is held in collaboration with John Deere, First National Bank and Senter360, a South African centre-pivot manufacturer.

"At DuPont, our purpose always has been to bring advanced science and engineering to the world’s markets, in the ways that matter most. The yield challenge is another example of this, and gives farmers a chance to have fun while they try new production practises, learn about maximising yields, and share ideas," says Rikus Schoeman, DuPont Pioneer marketing manager, South Africa. "Farmers will have a unique opportunity to compete, network and learn from one another."

The DuPont Pioneer South Africa Yield Contest is modelled on a similar project undertaken in the United States and recognises the country’s top maize growers. Participating farmers will compete in four maize production categories, including irrigation National, dry land West, dry land Water Table soils and dry land East. For soybean contestants can enter for Irrigation National, dry land Eastern Highveld (including Eastern Free State), dry land KwaZulu-Natal and dry land West. In the context of a semi-arid climate, the irrigation category for maize is expected to be the most fiercely contested. This category will reward the first 5 positions, with all the other categories giving awards to the first 3 places. In total, there will be a total of 14 maize awards and 12 soybean awards.

The information collected by DuPont Pioneer during this contest is another way the company collaborates with growers to drive progress in research initiatives and improve yield per hectare in farmers' fields by putting the right product on the right hectare. It also helps identify the innovative management practices used to produce the highest maize yields possible. Farmers are encouraged to be innovative with their crop management practices to achieve the highest yield.

“Our customers want a partner who moves as fast as they do to solve challenges in their industries… Partners who think and act with greater insights, efficiency and ideas that drive new value -- in fields, in cities, in vehicles, in stores…They want disciplined science and engineering that works commercially…and fast. DuPont Pioneer offers the strongest seed genetics in South Africa and the trusted agronomic advice to put the right product on the right hectare, helping farmers maximise their profit,” says Schoeman.

The launch of this competition comes at a time when South African farmers are very aware of the achievements of their American counterparts in the yield contest organised by the National Corn Growers Association. The yield results of farmers like Kip Cullers and David Hula have captured the imagination of local producers when they gave presentations at 5 farmers’ days in South Africa, during February 2014. More than a thousand farmers attended the events and many expressed their interest to participate in a similar contest in South Africa.

A maximum of 200 farmers are expected to participate in the 2015 competition. The winner will be at the awards ceremony in August 2016. Entries are open from September. 1, 2015, and will close on 30 April 2016 and when the maximum numbers of entries have been reached. Any South African farmer, 18 years or older can enter a minimum of two hectares planted to a registered variety from any seed company, at the cost of R1000 per entry. To win, farmers have to successfully grow the highest yielding maize and soybean crops.

DuPont Pioneer is committed to help improve agricultural research and technology and will be investing R62 million by 2017 to establish a new regional technology hub in South Africa to serve the continent. The establishment of the technology hub will position South Africa as a centre of innovation in seed breeding.

To learn more about the contest, visit WeegenWen.co.za or email to weegenwen@pioneer.com.

DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.

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Contact:    Barbra Muzata
27 11 218 8604
barbra.muzata@pioneer.com
     

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