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DuPont Pioneer Forage Inoculant Patent upheld

DuPont Pioneer recently prevailed in a major European patent challenge to its bacterial strain used in the Pioneer® brand inoculants portfolio.

The decision in favor of Pioneer by the European Patent Office (EPO) means that the key bacterial strain designed to improve fiber digestibility for livestock is patent-protected and covers all Pioneer fiber technology as silage inoculants.

The Pioneer patent was challenged by Lactosan Starterkulturen GmbH & Co.KG, a subsidiary of H. Wilhelm Schaumann GmbH. The process included an oral hearing held at the EPO in Munich, Germany on Oct. 16 and concluded the patent of Lactobacillus buchneri by Pioneer was maintained.

“The strain of L. buchneri is a primary component of the major Pioneer fiber technology inoculants product lines and the patent was maintained without amendment,” says Joe Lebeda, DuPont Pioneer director for global forages. “This means Pioneer customers will continue to benefit from this technology advancement to help deliver improved fiber digestibility of silage to their livestock.”

The L. buchneri strain is the basis for Pioneer® brand silage additives 11CFT, 11GFT, 11AFT and 11CH4 inoculants for corn silage, grass/cereal, alfalfa silage and biogas production, respectively. The strain was discovered by Pioneer microbiologists and advanced through product testing to produce a specific enzyme during silage fermentation. The result is that these products deliver fermentation efficiency, improved aerobic stability and improved fiber digestibility.

“These combined benefits make the fiber technology product portfolio from Pioneer one of the most important technological advances in silage-making in the last several decades,” says Lebeda.


DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success™.

For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit


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