Seed Corn "Pioneer" Thriving in York


The city famous for its water tower shaped like a hot air balloon saw the real deal, as York celebrates 20 years as a major center for Dupont Pioneer, producing the seeds to grow the food the world needs.

Alejandro Munoz, vice president of Global Production said, "Seven billion people on the planet, one billion today goes to bed hungry. We're committed to not only feed one billion but two billion more expected on this planet by 2050 or so."

But they face challenges, what Munoz calls "three mega trends."

Besides feeding a growing population, Dupont Pioneer wants to grow crops for energy too, while using less water.

Munoz said, "Sustainability is something society is requiring from all of us and clearly as an organization, something we take close to heart."

And on that point, Governor Dave Heineman praises Pioneer for 20 years at this plant and a half-century of research in York.

Heineman said, "Ag innovation and research and development and all that helps because we've got greater yields than ever before, greater efficiency in use of irrigation equipment and water we use every day."

And as the irrigation center of the world, Nebraska produces a lot of seed corn because farmers can produce a consistent crop, even during drought.

"Nebraska is a great place where you can see our production at its best – we will use Nebraska as a great place to bring farmers from other parts of the U.S. and the world so they can see what someday they can aspire to become," Munoz said.

Eighty employees and 3,000 temporary workers including detasselers help Pioneer produce two million units of seed in York, which is Nebraska's top corn producing county.

Munoz said, "American farmers have always led the way and we expect the American farmer to continue to lead the way into production on a worldwide basis and set the tone of what agriculture should be about."

NTV also talked one on one with Governor Heineman about the goals for an upcoming trade mission to Taiwan and Japan. Tune in Sunday night to NTV's Grow for our conversation.