Demonstration Sites Share New Technologies
“This site brings science to life in a real-world setting,” says Heinrich, agronomy sales manager with Farmers Cooperative in Dorchester, Nebraska. “It lets you see the whole system in action in the field and put things into a dollars-and-cents perspective.”
Heinrich’s team looks forward to summer training sessions at the York site, which demonstrates Syngenta technologies at work in the local geography and the accompanying agronomic practices that can increase corn and soybean yield potential. “By properly managing practices and products, we’ve seen a 16.1-bushel yield advantage on corn at York,” says Bob Kacvinsky, a Syngenta agronomy service representative who oversees the York site. “That equates to a lot of money.”
The York site has served as a model for many Grow More Experience locations that Syngenta has established across the U.S. and Canada. Each site offers a unique educational resource where retailers and Syngenta Seed Advisors™ can see the company’s products in action and learn how to address local production challenges with customers.
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“At our Grow More Experience sites, you receive an immersive experience,” Kacvinsky says. “This is a tremendous learning opportunity, because you can walk into the field, dig up roots, gain a deeper understanding of how crops grow and see which products and agronomic practices can enhance your business.”
Syngenta designs each site with local growing conditions and production practices in mind. As a result, attendees have a front-row seat to trials showcasing the best new Syngenta technologies that can bring maximum value to farmers’ fields. The sites also demonstrate how growers can use existing Syngenta products more effectively.
Mike Laux, a Syngenta Seed Advisor from New Baden, Illinois, has taken his customers to the local site near Ina, Illinois, for the past two years. “When you see things up close in the field, the information hits home,” Laux says. “Everyone who visits the site gets a lot out of the experience and wants to go again next year.”
Individualized Learning Environments
While several thousand people attended training events at Grow More Experience locations in 2015, these weren’t huge field days. “Each event creates an individualized learning environment that allows people to see Syngenta technologies in action throughout the growing season,” says Chris Clemens, Ph.D., a Syngenta agronomy service manager in Richland, Washington. “The small-group setting encourages interaction with our sales and agronomy representatives.”
Syngenta plans to offer more than 60 locations across North America in 2016 to build closer ties with retailers, growers, crop consultants, farm managers, researchers, ag media and university extension specialists, as well as Syngenta Seed Advisors and Syngenta staff.
“Syngenta uses the sites for hands-on training every week of the growing season,” says Jim Elliott, technical services sales support lead for Syngenta. “As the season progresses, there’s a new story to be told.”
Each site focuses on local crops, including corn and soybeans in the Midwest, cotton and rice in the South, vegetables in the East and specialty crops in the West. The sites reflect the integration of agronomic principles, Syngenta genetics, Seedcare solutions and crop protection products.
“Being able to see how various crop inputs work in the field builds excitement for Syngenta products,” says David Shupert, a technical development lead for Syngenta who has helped coordinate Grow More Experience locations in Florida and the western U.S. All across the country, these sites address timely agronomic issues from weed-resistance management to the yield potential of new genetics. In September 2015, the new Grow More Experience plots at the Syngenta vegetable seed research site in Gilroy, California, featured vegetable variety trials and crop protection trials together. Along with a site tour, participants also learned about Syngenta Seedcare options and Operation Pollinator’s role in sustainable production. The event came full circle when attendees enjoyed a meal that included one of the top-selling seedless watermelon varieties in the U.S.—Fascination from Syngenta.
“Attendees discovered that Syngenta is much more than a provider of crop protection products,” says Jose Cabrera, a Syngenta agronomic service representative for coastal California, Arizona and Hawaii. “They appreciated this 360-degree view of Syngenta that shows how we can fit into their system, from planting to harvest.”
Take a Look at the Future
Grow More Experience events also give resellers and growers a sneak peek at upcoming Syngenta technologies. “We can feature new products that are in our pipeline 18 to 24 months prior to registration,” Clemens says.
These innovations will help producers meet the world’s growing food security needs and show how Syngenta is contributing to an ample, safe food supply—one of the core commitments of the company’s Good Growth Plan. “Each year presents a new opportunity for each site to demonstrate ways to optimize yield,” Elliott says.
This includes sharing useful information among the various locations. “When people walk away from a Grow More Experience event, I want them to feel like they’ve learned a lot and their time was well spent,” says Craig Nelson, a Syngenta retail representative who works with the site near York.
The Farmers Cooperative agronomy team in Dorchester looks forward to touring Grow More Experience locations each summer and sharing yield results with its growers during winter meetings, Heinrich says. “We see a lot of value with the concepts showcased at the sites, because they focus on current agronomic issues and return on investment.”
Grow More Experience Sites