DuPont Pioneer Launches Open Innovation Website

DuPont Pioneer believes that the global scientific community can do truly innovative work when we collaborate. Join us and other thought leaders from around the world to stimulate the development of groundbreaking and sustainable agricultural solutions.

“Farmers expect complete solutions for managing their farms and consumers want a plentiful and healthy food supply. At DuPont Pioneer we collaborate with the world’s brightest minds in the pursuit of transformational agricultural innovations to meet customer and consumer needs.” —Neal Gutterson, Vice President Research & Development, DuPont Pioneer

JOHNSTON, Iowa, July 17, 2017 – DuPont Pioneer today announced the launch of a new component of its long-standing innovation strategy. The new website ( is dedicated to connecting third-party innovators with DuPont Pioneer scientists is now available and focused on five strategic areas – trait discovery, plant breeding, enabling technologies, biologicals and digital solutions.

“DuPont Pioneer is building on its long history of collaboration to advance science-based customer solutions by enhancing its open innovation strategy,” said Neal Gutterson, vice president, Research and Development for DuPont Pioneer. “Through this broad-based approach, we make available our resources to collaborators and develop the most innovative technologies in agriculture, then apply our production scale and route to market to rapidly deploy novel solutions to farmers around the world.”

Currently, there are three active grant opportunities posted on the open innovation web portal targeted to disease resistance; advancements in template-based CRISPR-Cas genome editing; and, big data cluster analysis.

Potential collaborators also are encouraged to submit ideas for consideration beyond the currently available grants. Terms for selected open innovation projects are tailored on a case-by-case basis in a discussion with DuPont Pioneer’s open innovation team.

DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.


National Agricultural Genotyping Center Announces New Tools in Corn Disease Identification

June 5, 2017, St. Louis — Identifying corn diseases and pursuing the best management plan available just got easier, faster and more cost effective due to new testing protocols announced today by the National Agricultural Genotyping Center located in Fargo, North Dakota.

“Farming is a complicated pursuit that involves many choices. Making the right choice at the right time can have a huge effect on profitability,” said Larry Hoffman, Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. “This is especially true when it comes to identifying the dozens of diseases that can harm healthy corn plants, yields and grain quality.”

Corn has effective genetic resistance to many of the important diseases, according to Pete Snyder, President and CEO of NAGC, however, numerous challenges remain in identifying corn diseases in timely fashion. NAGC is targeting a couple of key diseases, Goss’s Wilt and Xanthomonas, in their first disease assays, or tests now available to corn farmers, agronomists and crop consultants.

“A key part of our mission at the  National Agricultural Genotyping Center is to translate scientific discoveries into solutions for farmers and production agriculture. This is another important step in that regard,” Snyder said. “The new assays we have developed will provide proper identification in weeks rather than months and cut costs substantially.”

NAGC, a non-profit initiative founded by the National Corn Growers Association and Los Alamos National Laboratory, will provide research and testing services to both public and private researchers. The center translates scientific discoveries into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, and bioenergy. and national security.

Cost savings from the actual testing are as much as 75 percent less with a move from single sample testing to utilizing 96 sample trays. NAGC is working with farmers via crop consultants and agronomists to streamline the process of collecting samples and ramping up the assay process.

Goss’s wilt is a bacterial disease that may cause systemic infection and wilting of corn plants, as well as severe leaf blighting. Under the right conditions this disease can cause devastating damage with grain yield losses approaching 50%. Xanthomonas, another bacterial disease, is being targeted because it is often confused with Gray Leaf Spot leading to ineffective fungicide treatments and loss of income for farmers.

“It can cost $40 an acre to treat Gray Leaf Spot, but those treatments are ineffective against Xanthomonas,” Hoffman said. “And it’s not just lost profit but lost opportunity. Once identified we can deal with Xanthomonas through management practices such as tillage and crop rotation.”

Testing is largely done through samples of the effected plant leaf tissue. However, soil samples can be assayed by NAGC early in the growing season to identify or the presence of Xanthomonas.

Growing the Economy through Innovation: New Rules for the Commercial and Scientific Use of Drones

Today, the Administration is releasing new ground rules to govern the use of small unmanned aircraft for commercial, educational and public purposes.

America’s capacity for creativity, innovation, and invention is the envy of the world. Over the past seven years, the Obama Administration has strengthened our foundation for innovation through investments and reforms to drive technological breakthroughs that will power the American economy and inspire the world for generations to come. Today, we’re building on that track record by finalizing new ground rules to govern the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems, more commonly known as “drones.” These rules will open up the National Airspace System to a major new technology and create new jobs while ensuring that we protect privacy and safety.

Taking a step back, it’s no secret that technology has been rapidly changing the world, and that comes with both opportunities and challenges. But this Administration has been forward-looking, working to shape and prepare for technological breakthroughs, so we can harness technology for the benefit of all Americans. For example, we have supported research and development for next-generation technologies across an array of disciplines and applications, like healthcare, clean energy, and national security.

Today’s rule is another step forward. The final “Small Unmanned Aircraft System” rule that the Department of Transportation is releasing today is the first set of nationally uniform regulations for the commercial, educational and public use of unmanned aircraft. Unmanned aircraft will be a transformational technology and a platform for new kinds of services, helping farmers improve crop yields, giving workers tools to more safely conduct inspections of critical infrastructure, and changing how we fight fires, monitor wildlands, and respond to disasters.

The potential benefits of these breakthrough technologies are remarkable – according to one study, the expansion of commercial drones alone could add $82 billion in economic value over the next ten years and by 2025 employ an additional 100,000 Americans.

Farmers will be among the first to reap the benefits of new commercial drone activity, as many of the most important immediate applications for drones are in the agricultural sector. Drones can monitor crop health in real-time for farmers who are trying to manage farms that are hundreds or thousands of acres, increasing crop yield.

Drones will also save lives by helping workers inspect cell phone towers, pipelines, electric lines, and oil rigs. To take one example, more than 12,000 utility line workers were injured or killed last year, making it one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Using drones, workers can inspect power lines and downed electric lines more safely, avoiding injury and death. Or, for example, unmanned aircraft can be used to inspect the 300,000 communications towers in the U.S., thereby avoiding the serious injuries and deaths of workers who fall from these towers.

But the benefits extend far beyond agriculture and infrastructure. Unmanned aircraft can enable operations in remote areas that have never been possible before. Commercial companies are pioneering the use of unmanned aircraft for online retail and food delivery, as well as the delivery of urgent medical supplies like vaccines, medicine, or even blood for transfusion in hard-to-access areas. While these activities are beyond the scope of the current rule, the regulatory regime will continue to evolve to permit more and more applications.

Unmanned aircraft systems are also transforming the ability of local, state, and Federal agencies to respond to and assist in emergencies and disasters, and are enhancing our ability to conduct game-changing scientific research. To-date, unmanned aircraft have been deployed by international emergency response teams in mudslides, wildfires, hurricanes, structural collapses, nuclear accidents, tsunamis, and more, and have improved our capability to monitor wildlife, protect sensitive ecosystems, and to manage and monitor the environment.

The Administration believes that expanded use of drones must be done responsibly, with clear rules of the road that ensure strong safety and privacy protections. The rule includes important safety measures to protect people on the ground and manned aircraft, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will work closely with local and state governments, airports, pilots, and companies around the country in the months ahead to make sure the rule is safely implemented.

In addition, concurrent with the release of today’s rule, the Administration is launching a new privacy education campaign to ensure that pilots, companies and others address the privacy implications of these new technologies. This work builds on a Presidential Memorandum, Promoting Economic Competitiveness While Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, under which Federal agencies like the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Department of Transportation have instituted strong UAS privacy policies to protect the public.

The new rule for drones is just one more example of how the Obama Administration is empowering entrepreneurs and researchers and encouraging innovation across the economy, ensuring that as a country, we can take advantage of new technologies and harness them for economic growth and scientific advancement.

Secretary Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation

Jason Miller is the Deputy Director for the National Economic Council.

Ed Felten is the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Michael Huerta is the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. 

Summit Agricultural Group Leads the Way with State-of-the-Art Brazil Corn Ethanol Plant

Historic $115 million facility by Iowa-based Summit and Brazilian partner Fiagril will take advantage of expected ethanol supply/demand imbalance and introduce valuable feedstocks to Brazil’s livestock industry

Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso, Brazil – April 6, 2016 – Summit Agricultural Group, a leader in renewable energy, international agribusiness development, and production agriculture, broke ground recently on the first large-scale corn ethanol production facility in Brazil. The $115 million plant is an international collaboration between Iowa-based Summit Agricultural Group and the world-class Brazilian agribusiness, Fiagril. The production facility is being built in Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso, a preeminent agricultural state in west central Brazil and the country’s largest producer of corn and soybeans.

Summit CEO Bruce Rastetter estimated that the plant, which will be the only dedicated corn ethanol plant in Brazil, will be completed in mid-2017. The facility is expected to be the most modern and efficient ethanol plant in the world, and when fully operational it will employ nearly 90 people and produce 60 million gallons of ethanol annually for domestic markets.
Rastetter said the landmark project will bring immediate value to Brazil. First, the plant will help offset the country’s increasing demand for domestic ethanol, which can’t be met by the existing sugarcane ethanol production. Second, the new corn ethanol production facility will introduce to the region valuable high fiber and high protein co-products, which will serve as high-value feed for the Brazilian livestock industry.

“This is a significant day for renewable fuels, Brazil and Summit Agricultural Group,” Rastetter
said. “Through Summit’s expertise in sustainable agriculture, investment and renewable energy, we will further realize the enormous corn growing potential of a region that is poised to become a global leader in corn ethanol production.”

Summit Agricultural Group’s partner in the corn ethanol project is Fiagril – a diversified company whose operations throughout Mato Grosso and adjoining Brazilian states include biodiesel production, grain trading, crop production inputs and infrastructure development. Fiagril’s commitment to sustainable agricultural development in Mato Grosso has served as a model for other regions of Brazil for more than 25 years.

Summit Agricultural Group’s partner in the corn ethanol project is Fiagril – a diversified company whose operations throughout Mato Grosso and adjoining Brazilian states include biodiesel production, grain trading, crop production inputs and infrastructure development. Fiagril’s commitment to sustainable agricultural development in Mato Grosso has served as a model for other regions of Brazil for more than 25 years.

“We are extremely proud of our international collaboration with Summit Agricultural Group on this historic corn ethanol production facility,” said Marino Franz, founder of Fiagril. “Mato Grosso has set the standards for Brazilian agriculture and business development for years, and thanks to this effort, the region will grow to new heights in the area of renewable fuels.”
The Summit/Fiagril production facility will utilize process technologies from Kansas-based ICM, Inc. Since 1995, ICM has provided engineering, construction and operational services for more than 100 ethanol plants in North America.

Growing Demand for Ethanol

Brazil began sugar cane ethanol production in the mid-1970s and today produces 25 percent of the world’s ethanol. Bank of America has estimated that annual ethanol sales in Brazil could reach 13.5 billion U.S. gallons in 2022, two-thirds greater than the 8.1 billion gallons estimated in sugar cane ethanol production in 2016. The Mato Grosso region’s substantial corn production – both proven and potential – make corn-derived ethanol the most viable option to complement existing sugar cane ethanol production and fulfill an annual multi-billion gallon shortfall.
Additionally, the introduction of corn ethanol production to Brazil will generate dividends beyond the fuel pump and highway, according to Justin Kirchhoff, investment development manager for Summit.
“Mato Grosso will also benefit from corn ethanol co-products such as high fiber and high protein feedstocks for the region’s growing beef, pork and poultry industries,” Kirchhoff said. “That’s why today’s ground breaking at this facility is so important – it will open many new doors for the future of agriculture in Mato Grosso and throughout Brazil.”

Strategic Investors and Advisors 

Summit’s U.S. investment partners include Laverack Capital Partners, a private investment firm, and Tiger Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm focused on infrastructure projects. These firms invested alongside Summit and bring significant experience and expertise related to developing successful growth platforms across a wide range of industries.

About Summit Agricultural Group
Founded in 1990 by entrepreneur and agribusiness pioneer Bruce Rastetter, Summit Agricultural Group is a diverse farming, agricultural investment and farm management company headquartered in Alden, Iowa. Summit’s diverse operations include successful row crop, beef cattle and pork farms in the U.S. and a growing presence in the South American biofuels market.


Secretaries of the Navy, Agriculture Launch Deployment of Great Green Fleet

First surface combatants deploy using alternative fuel made from waste beef tallow

Jan. 20, 2016 Coronado, CA – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack kicked off the Great Green Fleet with the deployment of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island.

The Great Green Fleet is a Department of the Navy initiative highlighting how the Navy and Marine Corps are using energy efficiency and alternative energy to increase combat capability and operational flexibility. At the close of the ceremony, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) left the pier to begin its deployment, becoming the first U.S. Navy ship running on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations.

“When it comes to power, my focus has been about one thing and one thing only: better warfighting,” said Mabus. “The Great Green Fleet shows how we are transforming our energy use to make us better warfighters, to go farther, stay longer, and deliver more firepower. In short, to enable us to provide the global presence that is our mission.”

The blend fueling the JCS CSG’s surface ships contains alternative fuel made from waste beef fat provided by farmers in the Midwest. It was purchased at a cost-competitive price through a partnership between the Department of the Navy and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) aimed at making alternative fuel blends a regular part of the military’s bulk operational fuel supply.

With the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Stockdale in the background, Mabus and Vilsack explained why this milestone alternative fuel purchase is important to the Navy and Marine Corps, and how it supports America’s farmers, ranchers and rural manufacturing jobs.

Secretary Mabus said “Diversifying our energy sources arms us with operational flexibility and strengthens our ability to provide presence, turning the tables on those who would use energy as a weapon against us.”

“The Navy’s use of renewable energy in the Great Green Fleet represents its ability to diversify its energy sources, and also our nation’s ability to take what would be a waste product and create homegrown, clean, advanced biofuels to support a variety of transportation needs,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Today’s deployment proves that America is on its way to a secure, clean energy future, where both defense and commercial transportation can be fueled by our own hardworking farmers and ranchers, reduce landfill waste, and bring manufacturing jobs back to rural America.”

JCS CSG, the centerpiece of the Great Green Fleet, deployed using energy conservation measures (ECMs), including stern flaps, LED lights, and energy efficient operational procedures, and alternative fuel in the course of its normal operations. Other ships, aircraft, amphibious and expeditionary forces, and shore installations using ECMs and/or alternative fuels in the course of performing planned mission functions will be part of the Great Green Fleet throughout 2016.

Stockdale is the first surface combatant to receive alternative fuel as part of its regular operational supply. Following the ceremony, Secretary Mabus and Secretary Vilsack flew out to the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) to witness it replenishing its tanks with alternative fuel from fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200). The remainder of the CSG’s surface ships will receive fuel from fast combat support ship USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7), which will take on over three million gallons of the alternative fuel blend in Washington state before joining the CSG on deployment.

The advanced fuel blend was produced by California-based AltAir Fuels from a feedstock of beef tallow – waste beef fat – provided by Midwest farmers and ranchers, and traditional petroleum provided by Tesoro. Pursuant to Navy requirements, the alternative fuel is drop-in, meaning it requires no changes to ship engines, transport or delivery equipment, or operational procedures. The Defense Logistics Agency awarded a contract to AltAir Fuels for 77.6 million gallons of the alternative fuel blend, at a cost to DLA of $2.05 per gallon, making it cost competitive with traditional fuel.

Through the Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA is able to partner with the Navy to help diversify its fuel supply and simultaneously support America’s own farmers, ranchers and rural economies.

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and guided-missile destroyers USS Stockdale, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) are part of the JCS CSG.

Sailing the Great Green Fleet in 2016 was one of the five energy goals Sec. Mabus set in 2009 for the Navy and Marine Corps. It was named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, which helped usher in America as a global power on the world stage at the beginning of the 20th Century. The GGF will usher in the next era of Navy and Marine Corp energy innovation.

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont’s Cellulosic Technology Positioned to Transform Transportation Energy Supply with 90 Percent Cleaner Fuel from Biomass

Technology Expected to Create Rural Economic Opportunities throughout the Globe

Oct. 30, 2015, NEVADA, Iowa – DuPont celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, with a ceremony including Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and many other dignitaries. This biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of clean fuel that offers a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline.

The raw material used to produce the ethanol is corn stover – the stalks, leaves and cobs left in a field after harvest. The facility will demonstrate at commercial scale that non-food feedstocks from agriculture can be the renewable raw material to power the future energy demands of society. Cellulosic ethanol will further diversify the transportation fuel mix just as wind and solar are expanding the renewable options for power generation.

DuPont brings an unparalleled combination of science competencies and almost 90 years of agronomy expertise in Iowa to develop both a pioneering clean fuel and biomass supply chain. Vital to the supply chain and the entire operation of the Nevada biorefinery are close to 500 local farmers, who will provide the annual 375,000 dry tons of stover needed to produce this cellulosic ethanol from within a 30-mile radius of the facility. In addition to providing a brand-new revenue stream for these growers, the plant will create 85 full-time jobs at the plant and more than 150 seasonal local jobs in Iowa.

“Iowa has a rich history of innovation in agriculture,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “Today we celebrate the next chapter in that story, using agricultural residue as a feedstock for fuel, which brings both tremendous environmental benefits to society and economic benefits to the state. The opening of DuPont’s biorefinery represents a great example of the innovation that is possible when rural communities, their government and private industry work together toward a common goal.”

Biomass-based businesses can bring new sources of revenue and high-tech opportunities to rural economies around the world. As a global company with operations in more than 90 countries, DuPont is uniquely positioned to deploy its cellulosic technology for a global rollout, in transportation fuel and other industries.


FACT SHEET: The DuPont Cellulosic Ethanol Facility 

“Today, we fulfill our promise to the global biofuels industry with the dedication of our Iowa facility,” said William F. Feehery, president of DuPont Industrial Biosciences. “And perhaps more significantly, we fulfill our promise to society to bring scientific innovation to the market that positively impacts people’s lives. Cellulosic biofuel is joining ranks with wind and solar as true alternatives to fossil fuels, reducing damaging environmental impacts and increasing our energy security.”

In Asia, DuPont recently announced its first licensing agreement with New Tianlong Industry to build China’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, and last fall a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was announced between DuPont, Ethanol Europe and the government of Macedonia to develop a second-generation biorefinery project. The company also is working in partnership with Procter & Gamble to use cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergents.

The majority of the fuel produced at the Nevada, Iowa, facility will be bound for California to fulfill the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard where the state has adopted a policy to reduce carbon intensity in transportation fuels. The plant also will serve as a commercial-scale demonstration of the cellulosic technology where investors from all over the world can see firsthand how to replicate this model in their home regions.

DuPont’s achievement provides the technology that will transform the U.S. fuel supply enabling a transition to fulfill the original cellulosic ethanol volume targets as Congress intended when it passed the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation established in 2005 to encourage growth and investment in sustainable fuel solutions. Earlier this month, DuPont and America’s Renewable Future released new poll findings that suggested Iowa caucus-goers from both parties – 61 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats – would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports the Renewable Fuel Standard and renewable fuels.

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont Celebrates the Opening of the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit  Tide® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble.


The Boy Who Made Something Out Of Anything – DuPont Creates Cellulosic Ethanol from Crop Waste:

How it Works: DuPont Integrated Process for Converting Biomass to Cellulosic Ethanol:

Building the World’s Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery:

What is an Enzyme:

THE WHITE HOUSE: FACT SHEET – Increasing Investment in Rural America

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the White House Rural Council will host the inaugural Rural Opportunity Investment Conference (ROI) to promote potential investment opportunities that exist throughout rural America. Top leaders from the business community and financial institutions, senior government officials, rural economic development experts and others from across the country, will come together to discuss ways to develop partnerships that create jobs, grow small businesses, and invest in critical rural infrastructure.

THE WHITE HOUSE_Increasing Investment in Rural America 20140723