Frequently Asked Questions
Developing seeds with specific beneficial traits requires years of research in a lab and then – like traditional hybrid plant breeding – multiple cycles of crop growth to select and refine the plants with those desired traits. In other words, a single variety must be planted, grown and harvested up to eight or more consecutive times in order to achieve the necessary purity.
On the mainland, where there is only one growing cycle each year, this means that development of a single variety can take up to eight years or more. That is too long for a farmer to wait for solutions.
Here in Hawai‘i, the tropical climate and mild winter offer one of a handful of locations around the world that allow for multiple growing seasons each year. Instead of a single growing season in places like the mainland, Hawai‘i’s three to four growing seasons in one year mean that seed varieties can be developed and delivered to market faster to meet farmers’ needs.
In addition to an ideal climate, Hawai‘i offers a highly skilled and technical workforce and a well-developed, reliable infrastructure for agriculture production and export – the legacy of nearly a century of large scale sugar and pineapple production that has largely gone elsewhere in the world in favor of lower workforce and transportation costs.
Pioneer develops and grows both conventional and genetically engineered corn seeds and soybeans at its three locations in Hawai‘i. In addition, on land that is not in use we plant cover crops including Sunn Hemp, Oats and Buckwheat.
Environmental Stewardship is a core value of Pioneer and our employees, and we are committed to being good stewards of the land. At each of our farms in Hawai‘i, we have soil conservation and dust mitigation plans in place to ensure the long term health of the soil. To protect our crops from weeds and pests, we use an approach considered the gold standard in agriculture called Integrated Pest Management.
For more information on our commitment to environmental stewardship, contact us.
As part of Hawai‘i since 1968, Pioneer is committed to supporting the local community. Pioneer annually contributes tens of thousands of dollars to local community organizations and causes, but more importantly, its employees dedicate thousands of hours of volunteer time to make the islands a better place.
For more information on our community involvement, click here.
Pioneer encourages residents to learn more about the islands’ agricultural heritage and how our company has played a role in sustaining farming in Hawai‘i and around the world. Participating in a tour of the farm is an excellent way to see and experience our responsible farming practices.
For more information, or to schedule a visit to the farm, contact us.