DuPont updates timelines for Optimum GAT corn

DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred has updated the introduction and conversion timeline for Optimum GAT corn, the company’s proprietary herbicide tolerance trait.

Specifically, regulatory approvals in certain U.S. export markets are taking longer than originally expected. The changed regulatory approval schedule will limit the introductory volumes of Pioneer brand corn seed with the Optimum GAT trait to controlled releases in 2010 and 2011.

Pioneer currently anticipates Japanese import approval for Optimum GAT corn late in 2010. Approvals in Taiwan and Korea — also large importers of U.S. corn — will follow Japanese approvals. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulatory approval for Optimum GAT corn is currently on track for later this year.

“Adjustments to the regulatory approval schedule are common," said Paul E. Schickler, DuPont vice-president and general manager and Pioneer Hi-Bred president. “While we are disappointed in this administratively-driven schedule change, we are confident in our long-term prospects.”

“The Optimum GAT trait in corn continues to demonstrate excellent herbicide tolerance and product safety,” Schickler said. “We are positioned to deliver industry-leading products, proprietary technologies and new choices to growers to help maximize their productivity well into the future.”

While DuPont currently believes it is unlikely to be largely converted by 2015, the company continues to make important progress with its Optimum GAT corn product line. DuPont will provide an update on its progress during its annual pipeline review. The company reaffirmed its outlook for greater than 15 percent compounded annual earnings growth rate of the DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition business segment through 2013.

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