DES MOINES, IOWA — Pioneer Hi-Bred, a division of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., will break ground on a new corn research center in Orange City, Iowa, early this fall and officially begin operations in the spring of 2011, after construction is complete. The center will provide expanded development and testing of new commercial corn hybrids for farmers in northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.

“The new research center will further expand our efforts to provide products that fit the specific needs of farmers in this area,” said John Soper, vice-president of Pioneer Crop Genetics Research and Development. “This investment in local product development and testing reinforces our commitment to helping farmers get the right product on the right acre to maximize productivity.”

The research center is expected to fill about nine full-time positions once it is fully operational. In addition, Pioneer will hire approximately 60 temporary employees at the center during portions of the growing season.
Research scientist Eric Riedeman joined Pioneer this spring and will oversee a comprehensive corn breeding program at the research center as well as lead efforts to test experimental hybrids, evaluate and position new commercial hybrids. Terry Friend, a longtime Pioneer employee with a strong background in trait integration, information management and plant breeding, will hold a senior research associate position at the new research center. He will assist Mr. Riedeman in management of the center.

In addition to the planned research center in Orange City, Pioneer recently announced plans for new research facilities and space for 400 new research positions based in Johnston, Iowa; a new soybean production location in New Madrid, Mo.; a new corn and soybean research center in North Carolina; expansion of its research facilities in Union City, Tenn.; Janesville, Wis.; and Chatham, Ont.; expansion of drought tolerance research in Manhattan, Kas., and Plainview, Texas; a new corn research center in Ithaca, Mich.; and a production and research expansion in Hermiston, Ore.