DES MOINES, IOWA, U.S. — Origin Agritech Ltd., an agricultural biotechnology trait and seed provider, has signed a definitive agreement with DuPont Pioneer, the advanced seed and genetics business of DuPont (DD), under which Origin will gain access to non-GM corn seed products from DuPont Pioneer. Origin said it expects to have commercial seed products available for sale in the U.S. market for spring 2017 planting.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This agreement with DuPont Pioneer is a critical first step toward launching Origin’s North America strategic Pillar III, focused on serving the non-GM/organic markets,” said Bill Niebur, chief executive officer of Origin. “We look forward to offering these products to U.S. farmers through a novel, digitally-enabled route to market while building a platform from which Origin can continue to grow.”

The transaction is Origin’s second business agreement with DuPont. The companies in April 2016 agreed to a commercial agreement to jointly develop new seed technologies in China for Chinese farmers.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to continue to do business with Origin,” said Bart Baudler, commercial unit lead, PROaccess. “Through this agreement, Origin is strengthening its ability to diversify its genetic and product choices for farmers.”

Origin recently released advances in its Pillar I and II growth platforms, and the Jan. 3 announcement supports progress in the launch of the company’s Pillar III: North America non-GM/organic growth platform.

“Today’s announcement helps advance our business model of creating value by connecting growers and end users — while providing services along the value chain,” said Christine Bobst, business director for Origin North America. “We are looking forward to serving the non-GM/organic markets in new and different ways as we pursue a full slate of agricultural products, technology and service offerings.”

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Zhong-Guan-Cun (ZGC) Life Science Park in Beijing, China, Origin Agritech Ltd. specializes in crop seed breeding and genetic improvement, seed production, processing, distribution, and related technical services. The company’s phytase corn was the first transgenic corn to receive the Bio-Safety Certificate from China’s Ministry of Agriculture, and over the years, Origin has established a robust biotechnology seed pipeline, including products with glyphosate tolerance and pest resistance (Bt) traits. Origin operates production centers, processing centers and breeding stations nationwide with sales centers located in key crop-planting regions. Product lines are vertically integrated for corn, rice and canola seeds.

DuPont Pioneer develops and supplies advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. The company provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere.