Corteva’s approach to seed R&D

woman wearing a Corteva shirt in an indoor crop facility

Corteva’s approach

We believe farmers need sustainable solutions to address challenges and help their operations thrive. For nearly 100 years, our scientists, plant breeders, agronomists and more have been focused on developing the products to help farmers be productive and profitable. Our approach to research and development is guided by collaboration, transparency, product stewardship, and using advanced technologies to develop seed products for today’s farmers.



Innovation in plant breeding

Simply put, plant breeding is the science of optimizing the genetic potential of plants to improve the plant’s ability to withstand climate, disease and pest pressures while also increasing its yield potential. It also includes delivering end-use characteristics such as nutritional quality for people and livestock, fiber quality, biofuel quantity and quality and many more.  The focus of plant breeders is on leveraging genetic diversity to create new plant variations that generate higher yield potential for farmers, more nutritious food for consumers, better feed for livestock and a healthier environment.  

Corteva has the longest history of commercial hybrid corn breeding in the world. We have built a collection of unique germplasm with industry-leading performance that allows plants to produce more with fewer resources, while protecting against insects, weeds, diseases and extreme weather events.

Innovation in biotechnology

Biotechnology — also called genetic engineering or genetic modification — techniques are a more precise method of plant development. These techniques allow plant breeders to take a desirable trait found in nature and transfer it from one plant or organism to the plant they want to improve, as well as make a change to an existing trait in a plant they are developing. Some examples of desirable traits commonly transferred include resistance to insects and disease and tolerance to herbicides that allow farmers to better control weeds. Biotechnology has been used for more than three decades to develop seed products that allow farmers to be more productive and sustainable.

Innovation in gene editing

For thousands of years, plants evolved through natural selection, and humans have been using traditional plant breeding techniques to allow plants to produce more or traits that are more desirable. Gene editing provides the tools to make these changes more precisely than ever before, unlocking the full power of plants to bring improved products to farmers more quickly. At Corteva, we are using gene editing and CRISPR technology to create a wide range of changes in plants to develop product solutions that will solve challenges for today’s farmers and consumers. 

Rigorous research and innovation in plant breeding has led to tremendous gains in food output and nutritional value over the past century. In just the last decade alone, average corn yields have grown by more than 30 percent while soybean yields have increased more than 25 percent. This has been accomplished despite pressures of loss of farmland, water stress and climate change.

Innovation at Corteva

Learn more about Corteva’s approach to innovation and how it is driving better outcomes for farmers across the globe.

woman wearing Corteva white coat in cornfield holding an ear of corn

Powering innovation in agriscience

Innovation powers integrated solutions to meet farmers’ needs today, and to anticipate tomorrow’s challenges.

Innovation at Corteva
man tossing bag of corn into back of truck with corn field background

The science and strategy of increased yields

Learn how one Iowa farmer is using integrated strategies to significantly increase yields, based on science, in this article.

Read his story

Our commitment

We work every day to fulfill our company’s purpose of enriching the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come.