PIONEER SALUTES 'FOUR HUNDRED' FARMER
Date: 01 December 2017
The sale of Ian & Sally Anderson’s property near Narromine in New South Wales heralds the end of an era for seed company Pioneer® brand products.
You see for more than a decade the Anderson’s have been part of a special group of famers Pioneer like to refer to as ‘The Four Hundred’…an elite group of people tasked with the very important job of growing the company’s parent and hybrid seed crops.
Hybrid seed production involves crossing male and female lines from parent seed. And for Pioneer, much of the parent material has been produced by Mr Anderson since 2003.
“We first started with a corn crop in 2003 and then grew canola in 2006,” Mr Anderson said. “Over many years we’ve had canola in the winter and corn and sorghum in the summer.”
An irrigation pivot on the property was divided into five areas of five hectares and the parent seed production would take place on one of these segments.
Mr Anderson said growing parent seed was quite challenging as the seed was a building block for new lines being released by Pioneer in the future.
Parent seed forms the basis of the new canola, corn or sorghum germplasm coming through the Pioneer breeding program and a failure could delay the release of new hybrids to market.
“It’s been a good source of income,” Mr Anderson said.
“We’ve dealt with quite a few different people over the years. I see them very often given they are only half a kilometre away. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction. It has been good for both of us.”
“There has been a little bit of stress but the only issues we’ve had were mechanical or when it was just too hot at flowering.”
The Anderson’s are slowing down a little and have sold the farm in favour of a smaller block on the eastern side of Dubbo where they have plans to run cattle.
Pioneer Field Manager, Luke Brown said the Andersons have been a valuable part of the production team over many years and have done an excellent job in producing multiple corn, sorghum and canola parent seed crops.
“It is so important that parent seed blocks produce good yields of high quality seed which can then be used in the following year’s hybrid production. The Andersons have consistently produced seed of the highest quality and it is certainly sad to lose them. Saying that, we wish them the very best of luck in the future and salute them for a job well done.”
Photo Caption: Ian and Sally Anderson of Narromine are pictured centre with Pioneer brand Production Agronomist Cameron Gall (left) and Gentech Seeds Chief Executive Officer Peter Kleinhanss (right) celebrating their business partnership which successfully spanned more than a decade. Pioneer wishes the Andersons the very best for the future and hope the couple enjoy a slower pace.