If you guessed Adel, Iowa, you are correct! At least that’s where Stine headquarters is located, in addition to a nearby office in Dallas Center, Iowa. But as the tractors on Stine Seed Farm sit idle during the winter months, we’re still farming 365 days a year to bring growers the highest-yielding genetics and increased seed options for their farms. So where in the world is Stine during the winter months? Here’s a hint: you have to go down south, way down south. To keep our breeding program active year round, Stine has a fast generation corn and soybean breeding program in the South American country of Guyana.
Once home to a Dutch plantation, Stine’s 120-acre farm in Guyana is nestled between lush rainforest on one side and savannah on the other. Here, Stine plants and harvests corn hybrids and soybean varieties year round, employing approximately 80 full- and part-time employees. Employees who work on the farm must use canoes to get back and forth to their homes as there are virtually no roads leading into the farm. Most visitors have to fly in on a puddle jumper airplane to reach the farm.
So why Guyana? Why choose a location so remote and hard to access? The fast generation breeding program in Guyana started in 2004 after Harry Stine — founder and CEO of Stine — traveled around the globe looking for the best environment and circumstances for a fast generation breeding program. Because of the warm weather and sandy soil, researchers in Guyana can turn a crop in about 90 days, which totals four generations per year. Most of our competitors can accomplish only three generations per year in places like Hawaii, Argentina and Chile.
With our fast generation breeding program in Guyana, Stine can move germplasm through the system faster. This means more rapid advancements, faster trait introgression and, ultimately, for our growers, priority access to the highest-yielding, elite genetics on the market.
To learn more about Stine’s fast generation breeding program, visit our website.