NK Seeds Accelerates Innovation

Developed with cutting-edge technology and using award-winning data analytics, NK corn and soybeans are on the forefront of innovation.
NK Seeds Accelerates Innovation

Agriculture is an industry that never stops evolving. NK® Seeds, a brand started in 1884, is no exception. Developed with leading technology and using award-winning data analytics, NK corn and soybeans are on the forefront of innovation.

Advanced Breeding

In a continuing effort to offer unique choice, Syngenta is pouring an incremental $400 million into its seeds business over the next five years to support advanced breeding techniques and technologies. For the breeding and product selection team, this means big developments in the lab that will translate into a potentially substantial return on investment for NK growers in the field.

With the help of cutting-edge technology, #NKcorn and #NKsoybeans from @SyngentaUS are on the forefront of innovation.

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“We’re looking at exciting opportunities in the next five years that include expanding the depth of our product offering,” says Ben Ford, Ph.D., North American head of corn breeding at Syngenta. “Our team’s goal is to be able to bring forward the best genetics and quickly and reliably add in innovative traits that will help growers maximize their profit potential.”

To stay ahead of the competition, Syngenta breeders use a state-of-the-art trait introgression facility to boost breeding efficiency and precision. With one of the largest unique germplasm pools in the industry, the Clinton, Illinois, lab is home to the “Seed to Seed in Seven Weeks” concept, a proprietary soybean trait conversion capability that rapidly delivers new and advanced varieties to the market. This exclusive system allows seven generations of seed to be developed in one year, resulting in the highest-yielding germplasm with an elite genetic pool that pushes performance.

To enable continued innovation in the field, the recent investment made possible a new Trait Conversion Accelerator at the Syngenta Nampa, Idaho, research and development and seed production facility. Construction of the $30 million site enhancement, expected to be completed in 2019, will house a majority of the Syngenta North American corn trait conversion work, previously done in open-field or semicontrolled environments.

“In the past, we were limited by the number of breeders and amount of resources to realize the full potential of what NK seeds can be,” Ford says. “The added resources from the commitment increase the number of breeders and research dollars per plot, giving us greater opportunities as we continue to develop products.”

Data Analysis

For the innovative minds who work at these Syngenta lab facilities, data analysis plays an integral role in product trialing and placement accuracy.

“Technology is something growers and retailers value, so it’s something NK values, too.”

Quinn Showalter
“We’re known for our strength in how we use the information we collect,” says Dwight Bostwick, Ph.D., North American head of product selection at Syngenta. “Through computational biology and data analytics, we’re able to make better decisions around product development and placement, while also determining what we need going forward. It isn’t about looking backward, but figuring out what will benefit growers in the future.”

To continue delivering industry-leading genetic gain, Syngenta is aggressively working in the emerging field of genome editing. Research in this field will lead to improved traits and greater success for both NK retailers and growers.

“Technology is something growers and retailers value, so it’s something NK values, too,” says Quinn Showalter, head of NK sales. “With more resources and funding now available, we can use technology to bring a more localized set of products to market, which will ultimately improve our portfolio and our customers’ experience.”