Seed Selection Matters

Growers should consider a range of agronomic factors when choosing their seed.
Seed Selection Matters
Bruce Battles, seeds agronomy technical manager at Syngenta, checks out a field of young corn at the company’s Slater, Iowa, seed research facility.
Each season presents its own set of challenges for U.S. growers. Pests, weeds and weather conditions can put formerly productive fields in jeopardy. Market fluctuations can threaten margins and cut into profits. As decisions about 2020 planting draw near, informed seed selection can help growers stay prepared.

Syngenta is committed to providing growers and resellers with the resources they need to make smart seed decisions. Each year, the company makes a $1.35 billion investment in research and development (R&D). This commitment to science gives seed breeders access to state-of-the-art tools and techniques, such as industry-leading trait conversion capabilities, which allow Syngenta to bring the latest, most desirable herbicide-tolerant and insect-control trait packages to market with the newest genetics.

“We continue to offer high-yielding genetics from multiple sources of germplasm that are improving every year,” says Todd McRoberts, NK® agronomy manager at Syngenta. “We’re offering a unique germplasm pool that enables farmers to diversify their seed portfolio.”

Digging Deep

Syngenta is dedicated to expanding the number of seed choices available to growers. The company’s commitment to R&D ensures a robust trait pipeline that will deliver value to resellers and growers for years to come.

#Farmers should consider a range of #agronomic factors when choosing their seed.

click to tweet

The company’s soybean and corn portfolios are particularly robust. For example, NK, a Syngenta subsidiary, was the first brand in the U.S. to develop a proprietary soybean variety. Likewise, for its corn lineup, Syngenta continues to tout trait packages, which include Agrisure Viptera® aboveground insect control and Agrisure Duracade® rootworm control traits.

“Syngenta is one of the few companies left on the innovation front to solve the challenges that come up for growers,” says Dustin Voss, NK sales rep. “We’re the leading technology provider. We’re able to bring you solutions that are designed to positively affect your business and that should bring you differentiation when you go to market.”

Syngenta doesn’t stop at providing growers with a wide range of traits; Syngenta agronomists also work with resellers to determine which seeds should perform well in each grower’s local environment, soil conditions and management practices.

“We really dig in deep to understand what the customer needs and wants,” says Bruce Battles, seeds agronomy technical manager at Syngenta. “Then, we find the product that matches those needs.”

Making a Good Selection

For growers selecting corn hybrids and soybean varieties for 2020, it’s important to take a proactive, detail-oriented approach that considers potential obstacles from multiple angles.

“We [Syngenta] really dig in deep to understand what the customer needs and wants. Then, we find the product that matches those needs.”

Bruce Battles
Soil sampling is a crucial first step in assessing the challenges that may arise in the upcoming year.

“Going through sampling after harvest really helps even out your work slate and get things done in a timely manner,” Battles says. “It allows you to pull samples and process them in time to get lab results for building nutrient management plans for the next growing season.”

To manage fertility, growers should conduct tests every three to four years. Sampling can also help growers identify problems, such as high pH soils and soybean cyst nematode (SCN), which can be better managed through variety selection.

“There are varieties with varying levels of resistance commonly used for managing SCN,” Battles says. “SCN sampling can be a really valuable tool for developing a long-term strategy that minimizes the reproduction rates of SCN in the soil.”

In addition, growers should diversify fields by selecting a wide array of corn hybrids and soybean varieties with varying maturity ranges. By diversifying, growers can spread risk and implement a balanced defensive strategy. They should also pick hybrids and varieties that consistently perform well across multiple locations and years in a region.

“For example, if you’re in an area where you have a higher level of disease in a field, you want to look at positioning hybrids with resistance or tolerance to those diseases, when possible,” McRoberts says. “Or, if you’re in a geography where you often experience drought, you will want to choose hybrids that handle stress, not only through their agronomic profiles but also through technology that can help you maximize water efficiency throughout the year, like the Agrisure Artesian® corn hybrids.”

Growers should also select hybrids and varieties that match the specific conditions, challenges and management practices of their operation. Working with an advisor who knows the farm and has access to the best tools can help ensure that a customized, geography-specific strategy doesn’t fall to the wayside.

Armed with this wealth of knowledge, growers can make choices that allow them to overcome future roadblocks. That kind of preparation removes some of the uncertainty from the process and enables them to move forward with confidence.

Previous Next