It was a busy, productive year for DuPont’s Seed Applied Technology platform and 2018 looks to be just as exciting, thanks to newly announced partnerships.
Mick Messman, global director for Seed Applied Technology, spoke with Seed World about how they’ll utilize those collaborations and how the platform will continue to evolve and grow.
Seed World: Let’s start by talking about where DuPont’s Seed Applied Technology platform stands today.
Messman: We just finished our fourth year, and we’re off to a strong start. Our promise to the customer is to discover, develop and provide advanced seed applied technologies that improve their productivity. We do this by focusing on market-driven science, collaboration and technique of assembly.
One of the points we’re most proud of is that we’ve brought to market three new active ingredients for four different crops. All were developed in the DuPont discovery pipeline and include Dermacor® for rice, Lumivia™ for corn, Lumiderm™ for canola and Lumisena™ for soybeans.
In 2018, we’ll see rapid adoption of Lumivia™ in eastern Canada and have a robust launch of Lumisena™ in the U.S. which will be broadly available through our internal seed brands and third-party companies. Lumivia™ and Lumisena™ represent new modes of action and new levels of insect and disease protection for the customer. Lumisena™ provides industry-leading protection against Phytophthora, and we are excited to see it being used on a significant amount of soybean acres in the coming year.
Seed World: How will your Seed Applied Technology platform go forward? How do you plan to grow and diversify your offerings in the near future?
Messman: We will continue to fund and focus on bringing new, novel technologies out of the discovery engine of the DowDuPont Agriculture Division.
We’ve recently announced two key collaborations that will allow us to accelerate the advancement and commercialization of new technologies. The first collaboration, with Arysta, will enable us to acquire rights to a leading fungicide whereby we can develop, register, mix, brand and market that product for customers in the U.S. and Canada.
We also are working with Sumitomo as part of a research and development collaboration that will allow us to bring more and newer technologies into the market faster. By collaborating and working together early in the development process, we can better identify the right mixture of products that complement each other and make them available to farmers more quickly.
Both of these agreements allow us to cooperate much earlier in the pipeline process and then advance the best available combinations. Next year will be significant for testing and developing new product concepts that will result from the Arysta and Sumitomo collaborations.
Seed World: What kind of growth strategy will you employ to make this happen? In addition to collaboration, what key components will DuPont rely on to drive that growth?
Messman: I think what sets us apart is the seed heritage we have. This enables us to take the perspective of seed applied technology with a seeds approach. We’re able to create products that complement genetic and trait packages and also build platforms that can be rapidly adopted. Lumisena™ is a great example of that. It was registered in late 2016, and we were able to use a pre-launch quantity in 2017 to validate the performance and have agronomists, sales reps and everyone in our channel trained on using it.
Another key component of our growth strategy is technique of assembly. We accomplish this through our Integrated Seed Science Network, which is anchored at our Integrated Seed Science Center in Johnston, Iowa. It’s where we bring all the seed applied technologies together to ensure they will work well in a grower’s operation.
Seed World: How do you think your platform’s growth can benefit the seed industry as a whole?
Messman: The Agriculture Division of DowDuPont combines the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences. Together, we provide a complete, balanced portfolio of seed and crop protection and a proprietary treatment platform. We’re really excited about what that can mean for farmers and future innovation. When you think about seed applied technologies, it’s really the intersection of genetics, traits and crop protection.
We will focus our resources on technology that meets farmers’ needs and do it in a convenient way with a combination of genetics, traits and treatments.
We see our position in the market as one that can accelerate the advancement and adoption of new technology that’s good for the farmer and good for seed companies and agriculture retailers that work with us.