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2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics highlights increasing importance of data analytics for agriculture industry

Global competition open to data analytics, mathematics and statistics students and professionals
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sep. 17, 2020 – Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of INFORMS today launched the 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that focuses on analytical approaches to improve complex crop breeding processes. The 2021 competition is aimed at optimizing year-round corn hybrid breeding processes. By optimizing seeds product development systems, scientists can ensure increased performance and crop yield potential across diverse environments.

Data analytics, mathematics and statistics students, and professionals worldwide are invited to enter by Jan. 20, 2021. 

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The competition brings together experts in mathematics, computer science and analytics, emphasizing the importance of cross-industry collaboration necessary to feed a growing population with limited natural resources. Analytics and data science play a vital role in agriculture, when farmers are facing increasing pressures from climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, and from consumers’ changing tastes in food.

“Innovative science and data-driven strategies have helped our industry breed more efficient, better seeds that require fewer resources and are adaptable to more diverse and variable environments,” said Gregory Doonan, head of advanced analytics, Syngenta Seeds. “Yet, that success has also brought on new challenges, namely increased output and irregular weekly harvest quantities that can create logistical and productivity issues, including storage capacity limitations after harvest. Optimizing planting schedules to ensure that facilities are not over capacity has the potential to relieve that burden.”

The Syngenta Crop Challenge gives data analytics experts the opportunity to use their skills to address real challenges farmers face, such as the unprecedented set of obstacles due to increasingly difficult growing conditions driven by climate change. 

“With nearly 200,000 new mouths to feed every day – at a time when we are using our arable land and water 50 percent faster than the planet can sustain – securing the world’s food supply is more critical than ever,” Doonan said. 

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on the rigor and validity of the process and the quality of the proposed solution. Finalists will be announced in March and will be given the opportunity to present their submissions in April during the 2021 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference where the winners will be announced. The winner will be awarded $5,000; the runner up will receive $2,500; and the third-place team will receive $1,000. 

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is supported by Syngenta Seeds and hosted by the Analytics Society of INFORMS. It was originally funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta in connection with the company’s 2015 win of the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

The competition exemplifies Syngenta Seed’s commitment to accelerating innovation to address the increasing challenges farmers face and the changing views of society.
For more information about the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, including eligibility criteria and deliverables, visit

About Syngenta 
Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit and Follow us on Twitter at and

With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. The INFORMS Analytics Society, a community of INFORMS, promotes the integration of a wide range of analytical techniques and supports activities that illuminate significant innovations and achievement in the growing field of analytics.

Media Contacts:
Jason Sparks 

Heather Manhardt 

INFORMS media contact:
Ashley Smith

Web Resources:
Know More, Grow More
Syngenta Newsroom
Syngenta U.S.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document may contain forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. For Syngenta, such risks and uncertainties include risks relating to legal proceedings, regulatory approvals, new product development, increasing competition, customer credit risk, general economic and market conditions, compliance and remediation, intellectual property rights, implementation of organizational changes, impairment of intangible assets, consumer perceptions of genetically modified crops and organisms or crop protection chemicals, climatic variations, fluctuations in exchange rates and/or commodity prices, single source supply arrangements, political uncertainty, natural disasters, and breaches of data security or other disruptions of information technology. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.

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Syngenta supports but is not a sponsor of this INFORMS challenge. Entrants must read and agree to terms and conditions of the challenge, found with the registration materials.