During the fourth generation, Pioneer added enhanced aerobic stability. In the fifth generation, Pioneer is focusing on enhanced fiber digestibility.
"The fifth generation gave us a new product, 11CFT," Whitaker says. "Customers are telling us they’re seeing very strong results with 11CFT."
More is on the way. "We have additional products in the pipeline to address fermentation needs for grasses and other forages. We’re looking at products we plan to call 11AFT (A for alfalfa) and 11GFT (G for grasses). Improving fiber digestibility will maximize feed value so customers can get more value per acre, more value per dollar spent growing forages.
Pioneer also is working to develop new strains and combinations of strains to continue improving all of the inoculant traits the company has developed throughout the years. This will offer even better value to customers.
Choices for each preference
Pioneer won’t stop once it’s developed a product for a specific crop. The goal is to give growers choices to suit their individual preferences.
"We have four inoculants for corn silage, three for alfalfa silage, three for grass and cereal silage and two more designed for high-moisture corn, "Whitaker says. "This gives growers a wide range of options and flexibility with their inoculant decisions."
Pioneer has the largest collection of bacteria strains to draw on to develop new and improved products. "We have about 25,000 strains in our library," Whitaker reports. These strains come from all over the world. Many are plant-based strains, some are soil-based strains and others come from animals, both common and exotic.
While several companies can tout the use of Lactobacillus buchneri, for instance, that doesn’t mean they’re all offering the same product. Saying you’re using L. buchneri is sort of like saying you have a dog: You may have a Chihuahua, a bulldog or a St. Bernard. Likewise, strains of L. buchneri can differ significantly.
"Pioneer has tested and patented certain L. buchneri strains of proven value for specific crops," Whitaker says. "This can make all the difference in the world in inoculant performance."
Article reprinted from the July 2009 issue of Pioneer GrowingPoint® magazine
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