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Delaware officials get behind popularity for Plenish beans
By SEAN CLOUGHERTY
HARRINGTON, Del. — Delaware officials joined representatives from Perdue Agribusiness and Dupont Pioneer at the Delaware State Fair to celebrate the partnership the two companies forged for the commercial launch of Plenish soybeans in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
“We’re just thrilled by this partnership, bringing together intellectual leadership in both companies to produce a product,” said Gov. Jack Markell.
Last November, the companies announced that Perdue would double the acreage it contracts for Plenish beans, offering growers an incentive for production and delivery.
Developed by DuPont scientists at the company’s Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del., the beans have no trans fats and their high oleic soybean oil makes it a healthier option for use in many food products. Perdue Chairman Jim Perdue said marketing the oil to potato chip and French fry makers positions the company well to be part of making better products.
“It has a lot of tremendous advantages and we’re just happy to be a part of it,” Perdue said.
This year, more than 25,000 acres of Plenish beans were planted in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, according to Rich Rumsey, DuPont Pioneer’s Northeast marketing manager for Plenish, and the company expects to more than double acreage next year.
About 6,000 of the Plenish acres were on Delaware farms, the Delaware Department of Agriculture reported and plans call for the state’s Plenish acres to increase to 40,000 in five years.
Nationally, more than 150,000 acres are planted with the bean, mostly in Indiana and Ohio, DuPont officials said.
“It’s definitely something that’s taken off,” Rumsey said.
In the Mid-Atlantic, Bill McCollum, DuPont Pioneer agronomist, said harvest of the earliest-planted Plenish beans are about four weeks away.
“We’re getting close and their looking good,” McCollum said.
The occasion was capped off with snacks prepared by Perdue’s executive chef Chris Moyer using Plenish oil — and Perdue chicken.