2017 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics

Seed resellers are the focus of the second annual competition, which offers $5,000 grand prize.

Grower tends to his crops
A young soybean crop flourishes because the grower carefully selected the right variety—a decision that analytics can make easier.

Syngenta has partnered with the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) to host the second annual Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that focuses on using analytics to address the problem of world hunger.

While the inaugural challenge explored how analytics could help a grower select soybean seed varieties, this year the challenge focuses on a different decision maker— the seed retailer. Using provided data sets, participants are asked to predict which seed varieties a seed retailer should stock one year in advance of soybean crop planting to maximize yield across a given region. The prize committee will evaluate entries based on the rigor and validity of the process used to determine which variety or varieties are selected for planting.

"Syngenta strives to modernize agriculture and make sure the industry's practices are as advanced and efficient as possible," says Joseph Byrum, Ph.D., MBA, PMP and senior R&D strategic marketing executive with Syngenta. "We value the talents and skills of those who do not necessarily have an agriculture industry background. The Syngenta Crop Challenge is the epitome of collaboration and crowdsourced problem solving."

The winner of the Syngenta Crop Challenge will receive $5,000, while the runner-up and third-place finisher will receive $2,500 and $1,000 respectively. Syngenta will announce the finalists on Feb. 24, 2017.