DES MOINES, IOWA, U.S. — DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred announced on Aug. 26 that it will open a new corn research center in northwest Iowa. The new research center is another example of additional investments Pioneer is making to ensure successful local product development to help farmers increase productivity.

The new research center will be located in Orange City, Iowa, U.S., and 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, Pioneer Crop Genetics Research and Development. "This investment in local product development and testing reinforces our commitment to help farmers get the right product on the right acre to maximize productivity."

Pioneer expects to break ground for the new research center early this fall and to begin operations officially in the spring of 2011, after construction is complete. However, Pioneer already began research expansion in the surrounding area during summer of 2010 with increased acres for experimental hybrid testing in eastern Nebraska, southeastern South Dakota and western Iowa.

The Orange City, Iowa Research Center is expected to employ 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. He recently completed his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. Terry Friend, a long-time Pioneer employee with a strong background in trait integration, information management and plant breeding, accepted a senior research associate position at the new research center. He will assist Riedeman in management of the center.

The northwest Iowa research center is one of the many investments Pioneer is making to expand both its research and production locations in North America. In recent months, Pioneer has 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, Missouri, U.S.; a new corn and soybean research center in North Carolina, U.S.; expansion of its research facilities in Union City, Tennessee, U.S., Janesville, Wisconsin, U.S., and Chatham, Ontario, Canada; expansion of drought tolerance research in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S., and Plainview, Texas, U.S.; a new corn research center in Ithaca, Michigan, U.S.; and a production and research expansion in Hermiston, Oregon, U.S.