NK Seeds Offer Global Technology, Local Expertise
But even in this globalized environment, the American farmer needs services and solutions that are close to home. So while Syngenta taps into genetics and research expertise from around the world to create new hybrids and varieties, it also offers growers local expertise from NK® retailers and agronomists. This collaboration between Syngenta scientists, retailers and growers creates opportunities for customized production strategies and increased return on investment (ROI).
Combining Agronomy and Technology
Tom Franke, a grower from Hayfield, Minnesota, has grown NK hybrids and varieties for more than a decade. He has his seed selection process down to a science to determine what works best for his operation.
“You need to match up the agronomy and technology,” Franke says. “You can find varieties for every soil, and Syngenta matches it up the right way.”
Franke credits his NK retailer with keeping him informed on what works best for the agronomic challenges in his area. Following a season with excessive wind and rainfall, many growers in Hayfield struggled with stalk and root issues in 2016. Not Franke.
Despite the environmental obstacles, Franke’s NK hybrids stood tall, with NK Corn N45P-3122A brand yielding more than 200 bushels per acre (bu/A). This Agrisure Artesian® hybrid maximizes yield when it rains and increases yield when it doesn’t, for a good crop regardless of the weather.
“Through our network of NK retailers, we know the local fields, and we know the local management needs. We also have the advanced genetics to meet those needs all season long.”
Syngenta develops all NK Corn hybrids using a complex system of intelligent analytics, testing and technology geared to improve a grower’s bottom line. Joe Bollman, corn seed product manager at Syngenta, notes that the NK portfolio enables growers to diversify their portfolio and find what works for them.
“At the end of the day, you’re going to want something that adds value to your farm,” Bollman says. “NK hybrids have greater genetic choice and competitive performance. They are the seeds of change that can make a real difference at harvest.”
Disease Protection From the Start
Similar to NK Corn, modern science has paved the way for NK Soybeans. With outstanding genetics, NK Soybean varieties include built-in resistance to pests and diseases, such as soybean cyst nematode, sudden death syndrome, brown stem rot and Phytophthora root rot.
“Our research and development team is continuously expanding scientific techniques for plant breeding and genetic placement,” says Scott Erickson, soybean seed product marketing manager at Syngenta. “We continue optimizing NK varieties for the grower, so they can get the most out of their seed decisions.”
According to Erickson, the most effective way for growers to select soybean varieties from the broad NK portfolio is to work with their local NK retailer to determine the best varieties for their fields.
Harold Ellenbacher from Greenville, Wisconsin, is one of those growers whose strong relationship with his NK retailer is helping him make the most of his soybean yields. Last season, many growers throughout Wisconsin struggled with heavy rain and white mold pressure. Ellenbacher was an exception. His retailer helped him select NK Soybean varieties with advanced genetics to maximize his ROI.
Ellenbacher’s NK Soybeans S20-T6 brand, which includes built-in protection against diseases common to the region, such as Scletorinia white mold, showed strong plant health throughout the season.
“We keep growing NK because we’re sold on the varieties and the company that stands behind them,” he says. “The service and the technologies help keep us around.”
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Translating Technology Into Results
Many growers note their NK retailers’ wisdom is one of the biggest driving factors in their seed decisions. Providing regional expertise to decipher some of the complex seed technology, NK retailers know what seed and management practices work best for a given area to optimize results.
Win Noem, an NK retailer from De Smet, South Dakota, maintains strong relationships with his growers, so he knows what they need for their fields. In 2016, for example, he recommended that Greg Albrecht, one of his customers, plant NK variety S21-M7 brand in a field that saw dry spells throughout the season. Because Albrecht listened to Noem’s advice, that field produced yields 10 percent to 20 percent higher than in 2015.
“I’ve been planting NK Corn and Soybeans for almost 20 years now, and I work mostly with Win,” Albrecht says. “And to tell you the truth, he handles the reins on our whole corn and soybean program. We have so much going on between crops and livestock, that it’s good to work with him and have his expertise.”
Having sold NK seeds for much of his life, Noem understands all that the brand has to offer. “NK Soybeans are top tier with exceptional genetics and a great breeding program,” he says. “NK varieties have proprietary genetics that are unique—the total disease package.”
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“Through our network of NK retailers, we know the local fields, and we know the local management needs,” Bollman says. “We also have the advanced genetics to meet those needs all season long. That’s a winning combination for growers and their yields.”