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Agrimarketing : November December 2008
cant dividends to its developers and users. Looking ahead, the Dow AgroSciences teamis evenmore excited about the future of the trait. “In addition to primary pests like corn rootworm, secondary pests are a growing problemfor growers,” Wiltrout says. “The outbreak-driven nature of these pestsmakes it diffi- cult to predict their impact fromyear to year and prevent damagewhen an outbreak occurs.Meanwhile, the geographic distribution of these pests continues to grow.” “HERCULEX XTRAis the only trait that protects corn againstwest- ern bean cutworm, a secondary pest that can reduce yields asmuch as 30%to 40%, aswell as black cutworm,” says Kaehler. “Also, growers planting hybrids withHERCULEX XTRAreport extra- ordinarily high satisfaction,” he adds. “More than 400 corn producers across the Corn Beltwere asked to rate the performance of the trait against four key insect pests. Of the corn producers surveyed, 99%said theywere satisfiedwith European corn borer performance; 98%with corn rootwormandwestern bean cutwormperformance; and 97% with black cutwormperformance.” Even the U.S.Department of Agriculture has given its endorse- ment to the product. Starting in 2009, growerswho plant hybridswith HERCULEX XTRAInsect Protection may be eligible for reduced crop insurance premiums in select states as recognition that it lowers risk and preserves yield. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation granted the approval as part of its newcrop insurance programcalled “Risk Management Biotechnology Endorsement.” themid-1950swith the introduction of 2,4-D,”Wiltrout says. “Since then, DowAgroSciences and companies nowpart of Dow, including Elanco, RohmandHaas,Mycogen Plant Sciences, and others, have intro- HERCULEXworks all season long, giving growers optimumyield potential, agronomic performance and enhanced plant health. Additionally, the company has set the stage for evenmore rapid development of its traits business through its EXZACT Precision Traits technology licensed fromSangamo BioSciences. This technology repre- sents the next generation of DNA- binding protein technology. PROUD HERITAGE “TheDowChemical Company has been involved in agriculture since duced key products like Treflan her- bicide, Lorsban insecticide,N-Serve nitrogen stabilizer,HornetWDG herbicide and Dithane fungicide to name a few. “At the time of their launch, all of these productswere a step ahead of the competition, and became very successful products for the company. TheHERCULEX traits followthis same tradition.” Wiltrout reports Dow AgroSciences has invested in research that allows it to continue to introduce products that are a step ahead of the competition. “We continue to invest in the development of crop protection products and biotechnology traits to help growers increase yields and return on investment,”Wiltrout con- cludes. “HERCULEXwas one of the first products to come fromour biotech pipeline.We look forward to launching other innovative traits over the next decade—and beyond.” By the results customers have Growers can see the performance of hybridswith HERCULEX at observation plots and farmshows throughout the growing season. been achieving fromthe newprod- ucts, it is likely theywill be looking forward to themaswell. AM November/December 2008 s AgriMarketing 29
American Seed Trade Association