Field Perspectives on the 2019 Growing Season

Three Syngenta sales representatives share their insights on what lies ahead in 2019 for the agricultural communities they serve.

Ripe Fuji apples are ready for harvest in Adams County, Pennsylvania. (Photography from Alamy)
In a market where commodity prices are low and the cost of doing business is rising, growers and resellers need reliable local partners who can help them overcome some of the challenges they will encounter in 2019. The men and women who make up the Syngenta Crop Protection salesforce are committed to being those partners. In the sections that follow, three top Syngenta sales representatives from different areas of the country describe how they stand ready to work shoulder to shoulder with their customers to help secure a winning season.

Krista Tavares, Western Region
Krista Tavares (Photography by Elyse Frelinger)


Growers in my region face immense challenges every day. The largest is the constant flow of anti-pesticide regulations in California. So many of these requirements, often not based in science, result in growers either having important crop protection tools taken away or being saddled with increased limits on when, where and how they can spray.

“The best part of my job … is helping growers find cost-effective, value-added solutions that can keep crop production levels high.”

Krista Tavares
Another limiting factor in California is water. Insufficient storage and reduced allocations to agriculture, due to several factors, including environmentalists’ pressure, have severely reduced the acres growers can farm. These challenges, combined with decreasing commodity prices and increased input costs, are creating a complicated environment in 2019.

The best part of my job, though, is helping growers find cost-effective, value-added solutions that can keep crop production levels high. Apart from helping them find the right product for the job, I also try to help growers stay ahead of and in compliance with regulations through outreach and training. I constantly fight to keep these crop protection tools in growers’ tool belts by engaging with local officials and telling agriculture’s story to anyone who will listen.

Three @SyngentaUS sales reps share their insights on what lies ahead in 2019 for the #ag communities they serve.

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While farming faces many pressures from external forces, its future is still bright, thanks, in part, to the investment Syngenta is making in technology. For example, fungicides like Orondis® for citrus and, upon registration in California, Miravis® Prime for grapes, will change the way growers farm in my state for the better. It’s a very exciting time to be part of agriculture—and the Syngenta family.

Chris Peters (Photography by Laura Gioja)
Chris Peters, Midwest Region

The environment farmers are facing is anything but simple in my region. Growers are seeing key inputs—including fertilizer, seed and chemicals—all priced higher than a year ago. An abundant inventory and higher-than-expected U.S. production have created a significant downturn in commodity prices, forcing corn and soybean farmers in my area to make business decisions based on a highly uncertain price outlook.

“As a Syngenta sales rep, I can offer tailor-made solutions like AgriEdge Excelsior whole-farm management program and use the full breadth of the Syngenta portfolio to meet a grower’s individual needs.”

Chris Peters


When you consider the challenges growers are facing in 2019, it becomes apparent that retail suppliers will also face a challenging year. As they help growers navigate the volatile climate, retailers must evaluate each grower’s needs and craft an agronomic solution that maximizes his or her economic return.

Many basic manufacturers bring cookie-cutter programs to market that don’t always address specific customer concerns. As a Syngenta sales rep, I can offer tailor-made solutions like AgriEdge Excelsior® whole-farm management program and use the full breadth of the Syngenta portfolio to meet a grower’s individual needs. My experience in ag retail and my agronomic knowledge also allow me to offer unique insight when partnering with retailers, so they can expand their value as trusted advisers to growers.

While the short-term market outlook for 2019 appears challenging, I’m optimistic about the future of U.S. agriculture. In the last decade, we’ve made exciting technological and agronomic advancements with many more innovations in the Syngenta pipeline. Those advancements help farmers produce more grain with greater efficiency than ever before, and they will continue to help keep American agriculture at the forefront of global production.

Duane Hobbs (Photography by the Premise Studio/Jeremy Hess)
Duane Hobbs, South and East Coast Region

Low commodity prices combined with rising costs threaten the profitability of each and every farm in my region. Growing, or at least maintaining, a return on investment for farmers and retailers in this environment is one of our biggest challenges.

“At Syngenta, our goal is to help farmers and retailers increase not only the quantity but also the quality of every crop they grow.”

Duane Hobbs
We’re helping our customers overcome this challenge by assisting them in building sound business plans with sensible agronomic solutions, based on a clear understanding of what’s important to them. Instead of asking will their farms survive another year, more progressive farmers in my region want to know how they can grow a bigger, better crop than the year before.

At Syngenta, our goal is to help farmers and retailers increase not only the quantity but also the quality of every crop they grow. Our product line is built on multiple modes of action and good scientific efficacy. Take our corn herbicide portfolio, for example. Acuron®, the first residual corn herbicide that provides four active ingredients and three sites of action, sets the standard for performance on resistant weeds and crop safety. But other products in our extensive corn herbicide brand ladder also meet production needs, while accommodating the challenging budgets many growers have today.

Additionally, we’re developing one of the strongest fungicide portfolios in the industry. Recent product introductions—including Orondis brand fungicides and Miravis brand fungicides, which contain the active ingredient Solatenol®—provide innovative solutions to major diseases in row crops, peanuts, potatoes, fruits and other vegetables. And our insecticide products continue to provide consistent performance and reliability.

Innovation is the engine of American agriculture. When farmers are working, they expect the rest of the agricultural industry to work alongside them. That’s what we strive to do at Syngenta—work side by side with our customers to bring them the tools they need to be successful.