Under a three-year collaboration agreement, the Sorghum Checkoff will leverage the seed technology program at Pioneer for a total investment of $800,220 from Pioneer starting in 2014.
In 2013, U.S. grain sorghum generated $1.7 billion in farm receipts. Additionally, 136 million bushels of sorghum produced last year were exported, with nearly 90% of the grain going to China. Sorghum exports have contributed more than $800 million to the U.S. economy.
"This collaboration will help increase sorghum farmer productivity and profitability," said Kay Porter, DuPont Pioneer senior research manager. "We believe this collaboration will lead to new innovations to develop stronger and higher yielding sorghum varieties."
Enhancing the Value of the Sorghum Crop
As part of the collaboration between DuPont Pioneer and the Sorghum Checkoff, three genetic-focused projects will include:
• A search for a haploid inducer line, the first step in the development of double haploid sorghum breeding programs. If successful, this development would lead to a major leap forward sorghum breeding speed.
• The development of a high throughput, precision screening method for stress-induced stalk lodging, which targets an important agronomic challenge for sorghum farmers; and
• The development of non- and low-tillering sorghum hybrids, which would allow sorghum farmers to leverage precision farming techniques.
The projects will utilize the Pioneer global research network, with research conducted in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and off-season nurseries in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
"I believe the collaboration between DuPont Pioneer and the Sorghum Checkoff illustrates the interest of seed technology providers and their commitment to grain sorghum," said Stewart Weaver, Sorghum Checkoff chairman. "The Sorghum Checkoff's collaborative efforts with Pioneer marks a rejuvenated era in sorghum genetic research."
Results and developments from the projects will be made available to the industry. The agreement with Pioneer is the Sorghum Checkoff's third collaboration with the private seed industry.
Source: DuPont Pioneer