DuPont Says Its Drought-Tolerant Corn Increased Yields by 8%

DuPont Co. (DD), battling Monsanto (MON) Co. for the lead in U.S. corn seed, said its Aquamax seeds boosted yields of the grain by more than 8 percent this year as the U.S. drought provided a test of the new technology.

The yield gain is based on the average results from 2,523 fields with “water limited” environments in comparison with competing corn hybrids, Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont said today in a statement. Aquamax outperformed rivals on 69 percent of the fields under those conditions, DuPont said. In environments with higher moisture levels, the yield advantage was 2 percent with a win rate of 59 percent, the company said.

DuPont is the first of three companies developing drought- tolerant crops to announce preliminary results after the worst U.S. drought in half a century reduced stockpiles of the grain by 12 percent. Syngenta AG (SYNN)’s competing product is called Artesian and Monsanto’s is called DroughtGard.

DuPont will update its Aquamax results in about a month when more harvest data is available, Jane Slusark, a company spokeswoman, said today by phone.

Monsanto grabbed more than 37 percent of the U.S. corn-seed market this year, a gain exceeding 1 point, Don Carson, a New York-based analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, said in a Sept. 30 note. That surpasses DuPont’s 37 percent share, which was unchanged, he said.

Kelli Powers, a Monsanto spokeswoman, and Pam Molitor, a spokeswoman for Syngenta, declined to immediately discuss this year’s results for their companies’ drought-tolerant seeds when reached by phone today.

DuPont rose 0.2 percent to $50.36 at the close in New York. Monsanto fell 0.7 percent to $90.39.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in Houston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.