Have a Field Day

Grow More Experience Sites offer resellers and growers a chance to see the effectiveness of Syngenta technologies firsthand.
Demonstration Sites Share New Technologies
“Show, don’t just tell” is familiar advice for anyone trying to convey a message. Through its 2015 Grow More Experience Sites, Syngenta is putting that advice into action. At more than 60 locations across the U.S. and Canada, the company is showing its customers how its products work, and how improved agronomic practices can make them work even better.

As educational resources for retailers, Syngenta Seed Advisors and growers, these sites offer an immersive experience, where participants can step into a field and see the impact Syngenta products are having on crop production.

“It’s one thing to talk from a piece of literature about our portfolio,” says Bill Jacobs, a Syngenta sales representative in Nebraska. “It’s totally different when I can show you several corn hybrids planted side by side, and you can see variations in their emergence, seedling vigor, performance in local conditions and yield projections.”

The Grow More Experience Sites also help bring The Good Growth Plan to life. This Syngenta plan revolves around six commitments that will lead to more food, less waste; more biodiversity, less degradation; and more health, less poverty. The sites visually illustrate how Syngenta can help sustainably feed a growing population.

“We’re trying to bring elements of The Good Growth Plan into all locations,” says Mike Moss, head of technical development at Syngenta. “Our food security and productivity goals are totally visible there for folks to understand how we’re trying to add value to their crop production systems.”

Showing via Demonstrations

Demonstrations at the sites help depict how those productivity goals can be met. For example, a comparison of treated versus untreated plots demonstrates the vigor effect of CruiserMaxx® Beans seed treatment, which is also a base for Clariva Complete Beans seed treatment, both combinations of separately registered products.

The Path to Better Seeds
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“Soybeans emerge between four and six days earlier when they’re treated with CruiserMaxx Beans,” says Bob Kacvinsky, a Syngenta agronomy service representative in Nebraska. “Over the past seven years at the York, Nebraska, Grow More Experience Site, faster emergence and improved early-seedling vigor have added from two to four additional nodes per plant, which, in 2014, resulted in an 8.4 bushel-per-acre increase.”

The sites also prove that when agronomics and chemistry work together, greater productivity and return on investment can result. In 2014, Syngenta and its site cooperators in York planted a CruiserMaxx Beans with Vibrance® trial at planter speeds of either 5 or 7 miles per hour. The slower speed, when coupled with the seed treatment combination of separately registered products, resulted in a 12.4-bushel-per-acre increase. Based on last year’s average soybean price, this translates into a $130-per-acre difference, a larger improvement than the seed treatment or slower planter speed could have achieved alone.

“Seeing the differences in a field is different from looking at a chart, where everyone wonders where those numbers come from,” Kacvinsky says. “Here you can have the plants laid side by side on a white board, and touch and see the difference.”

Technologies in the Pipeline

The 2015 Grow More Experience Sites have several educational objectives. The first is to make sure Syngenta sales representatives and agronomists have a firsthand knowledge of new products. As an R&D company, Syngenta has a powerful pipeline, and it’s important that each individual who works directly with a customer has a thorough understanding of the latest technologies, well before they enter the market. “We want to showcase new products a year or two before launch to get internal folks well-versed in the technology and excited about what we have coming,” says Moss.

Another goal is to provide resellers with agronomic training for product use, showing how to make Syngenta chemistries more productive, says Kacvinsky. “The Grow More trials are more than just product placement, but how specific products combined with better agronomic practices, such as planter speed, depth, uniform spacing and planting date, can all be brought together to improve overall return on investment for the farmer,” he says. “Additionally, we want resellers to have visibility of our pipeline so they will be well-positioned to help us introduce new products to the marketplace.”

Partnering With Customers

The combination of product demonstration and agronomic education is a unique feature of the Grow More Experience Sites. “We’re backing up what we’re talking about,” Jacobs says. “It’s not just, ‘Use this seed.’ We’re training our partners on what we’ve learned about our technologies, which, hopefully, will make them better agronomists. That’s something Syngenta does differently.”

Map of U.S. and Canada Grow More Experience Sites
U.S. and Canada Grow More Experience Sites
Derek Nissen, seed coordinator at Cooperative Producers Inc., in Hastings, Nebraska, appreciates that difference. Last year he took his sales staff to a nearby Grow More Experience Site three times during the season. What they learned there translated into better service for his customers.

“When you’re visiting with the farmer and you’ve got that experience, you can discuss Syngenta as a whole-farm solution,” Nissen says. “Everything they’re doing at the site, we can learn and relay that to the customer. It’s a great asset for us as a retailer.”

That’s all part of the plan to partner better and smarter with resellers, Moss says. The Grow More Experience Sites offer an opportunity for retailers and Syngenta Seed Advisors to understand what’s coming next from Syngenta and to figure out how they may integrate it into their own proprietary operations.

“This is creating an opportunity for our resellers to build value into their own businesses,” Moss says. “That’s really powerful.”