Farmer Planting Crop

Our History

Corteva Agriscience is founded on the rich heritages of Dow, DuPont and Pioneer. Discover our history and evolution.

Corteva Graphic of Coreteva Agriscience logo

Corteva Agriscience™

Corteva Agriscience, agriculture division of DowDuPont, brand unveiled. 

Dow DuPont Two men shaking hands

Merger of equals

Dow and DuPont announce a definitive agreement under which the companies will merge, then subsequently spin off into three independent companies.

DuPont Factory workers making cheese

Danisco acquired

DuPont acquires Danisco, a world-leading company in nutrition and health and industrial biosciences.

Pioneer Chinese Pioneer workers in factory

Pioneer enters China

Pioneer enters into a joint venture to market seed corn in China.

Dow Female scientist working in lab

Investing in Pioneer

Dow becomes 100 percent owner of Pioneer.

Dow Large stone Dow Agrosciences sign

Dow AgroSciences

Dow acquires 100 per cent ownership of DowElanco and renames it Dow AgroSciences.

Pioneer Ear of corn and kernels

Genomics in Corn

Pioneer is the first to start a genomics effort in corn.

DuPont Dow Various shapes of elastomers

DuPont Dow Elastomers

DuPont Dow Elastomers opens for business in 1996 as a joint venture between DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company.

Pioneer Soybean field with Pioneer sign

#1 in soybeans

Pioneer becomes the number one brand of soybeans in North America.

DowElanco DowElanco Logo in Black and White


Dow and Eli Lilly form DowElanco, a joint venture to produce agricultural products.

DuPont Headshot of Charles Pederson

Charles J. Pedersen

Charles J. Pedersen, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work with DuPont in describing the methods of synthesizing crown ethers.

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1987 Charles J. Pedersen

Charles J. Pedersen, DuPont’s only Nobel laureate, wins the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work in describing the methods of synthesizing crown ethers. Pedersen began working for DuPont in 1927 and remained with the company for 42 years until his retirement. He received a master’s degree in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1927 and began his career with DuPont at the Chambers Works’ Jackson Laboratory in Deepwater, NJ. One of Pedersen’s early accomplishments was to improve the process for making the "anti-knock" gasoline additive, tetraethyl lead.

Tetraethyl lead added to gasoline reduces knock and improves performance
He also discovered the first "deactivators" that countered the degrading effects of heavy metals in gasoline, oils and rubbers. During a period of 10 years he filed for some 30 patents for antioxidants and other products. In 1946 Pedersen was promoted to research associate and thereafter pursued his own research projects. In 1959 Pedersen transferred to the Experimental Station where he joined the Elastomers Department. It was here that Pedersen discovered crown ethers.

DuPont Man at gas station pump


DuPont buys petroleum manufacturer Conoco, Inc. At the time, the largest merger in corporate history.

Dow Lorsban Insecticide Ad

Dow launches new insecticide

Dow launches Lorsban® insecticide, now one of the most widely used insecticides in the world.

Pioneer Pioneer HiBred Corn Company sign

Changes at Pioneer

The company changes its name to Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., and establishes a separate overseas subsidiary.

DuPont Men examine field with Lannate


DuPont introduces Lannate methomyl insecticide, which goes on to become one of its most successful crop protection products.

Dow Old photo of Ziploc bags


Dow begins test-marketing Ziploc bags.
ZIPLOC is a trademark of S. C. Johnson & Son.

DuPont Stephanie Kwolek using tool

Kevlar® discovered

Stephanie L Kwolek develops the first liquid crystal polymer, which provides the basis for Kevlar® brand fiber.

Dow Closeup of corn on field

Billion-dollar milestone

Dow annual sales exceed $1 billion.

DuPont Grayscale workers with Lycra Elastane


Lycra brand elastane fiber caps two decades of research to produce a good synthetic elastomeric fiber.
Lycra is a registered trademark of Invista.

Dow Saran wrap boxes in kitchen

Saran Wrap®

Dow introduces Saran Wrap for household use.
Saran Wrap and logo are trademarks of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.

Pioneer Pioneer corn supply in warehouse

Pioneer® hits a million

Annual sales of Pioneer® brand seed corn in North America pass the million-unit mark.

Pioneer Pioneer HiBred Corn Company sign

Pioneer Hi-Bred Canada

Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company of Canada is founded.

Dow Men standing outside Dow sign

Canadian Expansion

Dow’s first expansion begins with Dow Chemical Canada, Ltd.

Pioneer Henry Wallace with President FDR

US Vice President

Pioneer’s Henry Wallace is elected US Vice President under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Pioneer Pioneer HiBred Corn Company building

Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company

The company changes its name to Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company.

Dow Headshot of Sylvia Stoesser

Dow’s first female researcher

Dow hires its first woman researcher, Sylvia Stoesser. Five of her patents helped unlock the secrets to treating oil wells.

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1929 Dow hires its first woman researcher, Sylvia Stoesser.

Dow hires its first woman researcher, Sylvia Stoesser. Sylvia Stoesser made her mark in the worlds of science and technology in 1929 by becoming Dow Chemical Company's first female research scientist. Born Sylvia Goergen on July 18, 1901, in Buffalo, NY, she was the first woman Ph.D. chemist hired by Dow. She earned her degrees at the University of Buffalo in 1923 and the University of Iowa in 1928.  Her first major success came in a joint effort with Dr. John J. Grebe, the laboratory director, to develop an acid inhibitor for oil well treatment. Five of her patents were keys to the process, which became the basis of the Dowell Division of Dow.

DuPont Old chemical laboratory

Chemical expansion

DuPont purchases the Grasselli Chemical Company. Grasselli was a long-time manufacturer of inorganic and organic insecticides.

Hi-Bred Henry Wallace examines corn

The start of Hi-Bred Corn Company

Founder Henry A. Wallace incorporates the Hi-Bred Corn Company, ushering in a new era of farmer acceptance of hybrid corn

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1926 Henry A. Wallace incorporates the Hi-Bred Corn Company.

No person was more important to commercialization and farmer acceptance of hybrid corn than Henry A. Wallace, the founder of what has become DuPont Pioneer. He was one of a handful of people in the world who initially recognized the immense opportunities that could be gained by growing hybrid corn. Wallace began experimenting with corn in high school with the goal of developing a hybrid that would produce high grain yield. At age 16, he field-tested prize-winning show corn against corn less beautiful in appearance. The results challenged conventional thinking at the time by demonstrating there was no relationship between yield and appearance of the ears.

Wallace attended Iowa State College, graduating in 1910. While in college, he became fascinated with the relatively new science of genetics. After graduation, Wallace began working on corn-breeding experiments and started breeding hybrid corn in 1920 after visiting Edward East and Donald Jones at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The mathematically inclined Wallace taught himself statistics and applied it to his experiments. By 1923, he had produced a high-yielding hybrid he called Copper Cross. In 1924, it became the first hybrid to win the gold medal in the Iowa Corn Yield Contest conducted by Iowa State.

Dow Old photo of flour mill

Dow’s first agricultural product

Dow produces its first agriculture product at a time when the value of US farms had soared to $30 billion

Dow Old Herbert Henry Dow headshot

The Dow Chemical Company is founded

Electrochemical pioneer and unsinkable optimist, H.H. “Crazy Dow” Dow, founds Dow Chemical Company, a one-product start-up that would rewrite history.

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1897 The Dow Chemical Company is founded

An Industry Pioneer and Fearless Entrepreneur In 1897, The Dow Chemical Company began as a one-product start-up founded by H.H. Dow, an industry pioneer. Dow was an electrochemical pioneer whose first commercial success came in 1891 when he used electric current to separate bromides from brine.

He started three companies. His first company went bankrupt, the second ousted him from control, and the third, The Dow Chemical Company, struggled to survive after its founding in Midland, Michigan. His indomitable optimism helped him persevere against those who nicknamed him “Crazy Dow.” More than a century later, Dow’s “do it better” spirit lives on in the company he founded.

DuPont Portrait of du Pont

E.I du Pont

With his first powder mill, E.I. du Pont establishes the iconic company that bears his name, on the banks of the Brandywine River

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1802 E.I du Pont

Eleuthère Irénée (E.I.) du Pont (1771-1834) broke ground on July 19, 1802, for the company that bears his name. He had studied advanced explosives production techniques with the famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier. He used this knowledge and his intense interest in scientific exploration–which became the hallmark of his company–to continually enhance product quality and manufacturing sophistication and efficiency. He earned a reputation for high quality, fairness and concern for workers’ safety. E.I. du Pont was the younger of two sons born to Paris watchmaker Pierre Samuel du Pont who, by the 1780s, had become a noted political economist, a rising government official, and an advocate of free trade. At age 14, E.I. wrote a paper on the manufacture of gunpowder and, with his father’s assistance, gained a position at France’s central powder agency. There he had studied advanced explosives production techniques with the famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier. In 1791, after the onset of the French Revolution, he gave up powder-making to assist in his father’s small printing and publishing business. The du Ponts’ moderate political views proved a liability in revolutionary France. In 1797 a mob ransacked their printing shop and they were briefly imprisoned. In late 1799 they fled to America.

When he arrived in America in January 1800, E.I. brought much more than powder-making expertise and capital raised from French investors. He had spent several years studying botany and he shared his father’s ideals about scientific advancement and creating a harmonious relationship between capital and labor.

E.I. du Pont returned to France only once – in 1801 – to raise additional capital and to buy the latest powder-making equipment. He broke ground for his first powder mills on the Brandywine River on July 19, 1802. He spent the remainder of his life keeping them, going through explosions, floods, financial straits, pressures from nervous stockholders, and labor difficulties.

Although his personal reputation for honesty and renown for his company’s product eventually brought success, du Pont never relaxed his vigilance. E.I. was a pillar of the community, contributing to causes such as poor relief, help for the blind, and free public education. He was a Director of the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware and the Second Bank of the United States. He was also an inventor and a gentleman scientist. E.I.’s wife, Sophie Dalmas du Pont, died in 1828. Three years later the American painter, Rembrandt Peale, captured the powderman’s sense of loss and the strain of constant worry about his company. In the fall of 1834, E.I. collapsed from heart failure while in Philadelphia on business. He died the next day, October 31, and was buried in the family cemetery along the Brandywine.