It was still before noon when the winners of the 25th Environmental Respect Awards filed off a comfortable, air-conditioned bus into the sweltering heat. The sun beat down on the 3,300 acres of Chesapeake Farms owned by DuPont.
The farm serves as a site to test and evaluate the new products in DuPont’s pipeline or the combinations of existing chemistries. But the site does far more than provide a place for the company to experiment with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and nematicides.
Chesapeake Farms serves as a wildlife management refuge with thousands of migratory birds visiting the site annually. But perhaps its most important purpose is to educate people both in and out of the industry. Regulators, members from the Environmental Protection Agency and even legislators have visited the farm and learned how crop protection products and sustainability go hand-in-hand, said Rik Miller, president of DuPont Crop Protection.
Chesapeake Farms grows mostly corn, soybeans and wheat, with a few vegetables thrown in as well. Among the products DuPont is testing is a dicamba-tolerant soybean and corn seed treatments that treat early-season pests like cutworms and white grubs.
Chesapeake Farms is just one of the many sites where DuPont scientists investigate ways to make products more effective and even safer for the environment. Earlier in the day, the winners of the Environmental Respect Awards visited the Stine-Haskell Research Center. It’s all part of DuPont’s dedication to agriculture.
When Miller joined the company more than 30 years ago, agriculture accounted for about 3% of the company’s revenue and less than 1% of earnings. As of July 1, agriculture accounted for more than 50% of the revenue and an even larger percent of the earnings (the spinoff of The Chemours Company contributed to those figures).
For Miller, who spoke at an event at Longwood Estates later in the evening, DuPont’s mission is simple – feed the world. There able to do that because DuPont and the winners of the Environmental Respect Awards, “live, eat and breathe agriculture.”