Pioneer’s leading position in superior seed hybrids fits in well with DuPont’s expanding research in biotechnology. In the mid-1980s, DuPont began researching ways to develop higher value seeds, foods and natural fibers and entered an arrangement with a seed company to develop superior corn hybrids. DuPont purchased a 20 percent interest in Pioneer in 1997 and embarked on a joint venture research alliance called Optimum Quality Grains, LLC. Two years of promising developments in new corn hybrids and soybean varieties led DuPont to buy the remaining 80 percent of Pioneer in 1999. The business is a world leader in cutting edge agricultural products like herbicide-resistant soybeans, higher-yielding, more diverse crops, oilseeds that produce healthier oils for consumers, and crops that reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous in livestock waste.