The Pioneer seed company was founded in 1926 by Henry A. Wallace. During that time, farmers relied on the length and shape of the seed corn kernels to determine what seed would produce high yields. Wallace believed scientific research could help farmers better predict quality yields. Pioneer continues to be a leader in the research and development of hybrid seed corn and continues to produce new varieties that surpass farmer's expectations for quality and yield.
Pioneer Hi-Bred International is owned by DuPont. It is the leading supplier of genetic plant and seed material to farmers throughout the United States. The company headquarters is in Johnston, Iowa. Seed corn is one of Pioneer's most profitable products. Other products include soybean seeds, sunflower seeds, sorghum and a variety of herbicides.
Pioneer sales representatives will call on farmers within their local sales territory. They will discuss the climate of the area, soil types and any special needs the farmer has to recommend a type of seed corn that will produce the highest yields for them. They will also be able to discuss what types of seed corn is doing well in the geographic area so the farmer can make an informed decision.
Relationship with Monsanto
In the 1980s, Monsanto, an agricultural company, developed genetically modified organism seed corn, also known as GMO. They then allowed Pioneer to sell these seeds and charged the company a licensing fee for doing so. In 2003, Pioneer began selling genetically modified seed corn that it had developed on its own for the first time.
Pioneer offers more than 250 varieties of seed corn. These varieties are unique in that they are sold only by Pioneer. The types of seed corn offered by Pioneer are hybrids, which means that they have been developed by merging one or more types of corn in order to produce varieties that are disease and drought resistant.
Pioneer operates 26 seed corn processing facilities in North America. The largest one of these is located in York, Nebraska. Four are located in the state of Indiana. These processing facilities are located in Rushville, Plymouth, Tipton and Worthington.
The Pioneer seed corn processing facility at Rushville, Indiana can store up to 700,000 bags of seed corn. In addition, there are 34 storage bins within the facility. These storage bins can accommodate up to 400,000 bushels of seed corn. Nearly 3,000 bushels of seed corn can be shelled at the facility each hour.
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, also known as FCIC, allows Pioneer to offer a Biotechnology Endorsement program to its growers. This means that farmers who plant seed corn with a Biotechnology Endorsement will receive a discount on their crop insurance. This program is available to growers in the main corn-producing states of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.