DuPont said May 3 the Environmental Protection Agency has approved its Optimum AcreMax I, a product the company says will save farmers time and make it easier for them to use hybrid seeds.
The decision, which was not unexpected, lets the company, also known as E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. , better compete with rival Monsanto Co.
Genetically modi-f ied crops have been extremely popular among U. S. farmers in recent years. The Optimum AcreMax seeds feature traits such as drought, herbicide and pest resistance, and often produce larger yields.
Regulators, though, had required farmers to also plant a “refuge” crop to prevent insects from developing a resistance to genetically modified crops.
The Optimum AcreMax I product includes a refuge crop in the bag for farmers, simplifying the planting process, DuPont said.
The product is expected to debut in the 2011 planting season.
“Customers told us what they needed, and we responded with an innovative solution that works better for growers,” said Paul Schickler, president of Pioneer Hi-Bred, DuPont’s agricultural unit.