From Bags to Bulk - Growers Prefer Faster, Easier Seed Handling

Syngenta Seeds Hosts the Largest TruBulk® Seed Delivery System Conference in United States

Golden Valley, Minn. - October 2007 - A 5-year trend of soybean sales indicates the success of bulk handling advances has resulted in a 47 percent drop in the use of 50-pound bags by growers. Leading the trend, retailers, seed advisors and reps from 15 states recently completed intensive training on the TruBulk® Seed Delivery System from Syngenta at the KSi Conveyors' facility in Cissna Park, Ill. Participants learned of new advances and services to increase efficiency of bulk seed delivery.

Bulk soybean delivery was introduced by NK Seeds, a business unit of Syngenta Seeds, Inc., nine years ago. Today there are more than 500 TruBulk systems in use at retailers and seed advisors selling NK® and Garst® seed.

"TruBulk provides a competitive edge to our growers by making planting more efficient," stated Gary Wietgrefe, bulk equipment specialist with Syngenta Seeds. "The conference was designed to help seed dealers understand ways to minimize planter fill time and help growers maximize plant health, yield, and seed handling safety."

Twelve instructors presented advances in bulk seed trends. They detailed the best methods to deliver complete solutions to growers for maximum planting and agronomic efficiency using leading products from Syngenta and local or on-site custom application services.

Sessions presented at the conference included TruBulk audits and certification for seed quality assurance, seed treatment, weighing systems, planter trends and conveyer technologies. Attendees were able to see professional demonstrations of the system and were instructed on the standards required to maintain seed quality.

The fundamental focus of the training was based around how the TruBulk system reduces the time it takes to fill a planter. Planters can be filled in five minutes by eliminating heavy lifting of multiple bags and by pre-treating, pre-inoculating, and a pre-talc application. That five minutes can significantly increase the grower's planting efficiency. Analysis by Bruce Frank, a former John Deere Planter Technical Manager, reported a bulk system allows growers to plant almost 200 more acres per day.

"Every minute a grower or dealer spends on a forklift handling soybean bags is wasted time; when you can pull up to a TruBulk unit, treat, fill, and go," Wietgrefe said. "It takes less manpower and you don't have bags and pallets to dispose nor containers to inventory and return at the end of planting."

Planting earlier in the season is another major benefit of the TruBulk system. A planting date study done at The Ohio State University shows a 3.9 bu/A yield loss per week when soybeans are planted after April 25--supporting the need to plant early. In addition to speeding the planting process, the TruBulk system allows for planting-time decisions such as whether to custom seed treat, inoculate, and pre-apply talc.

"To maximize soybean yields, plant soybeans early, protect the seed from insects and diseases, insure sufficient inoculum, and make sure each seed flows evenly through the planter," Wietgrefe added. "This makes custom seed treatment a must."

CruiserMaxx(tm) Beans, which combines the proven power of Apron® fungicide and Cruiser® insecticide, is designed to provide protection from a broad spectrum of early season diseases and pests and can be added to a seed purchase when a grower pulls up to the TruBulk unit. Purchasing seed by the bag requires growers to forecast each field's need for seed treatment months in advance with the extra hassle of opening treated bags or containers with no return privileges.

Lastly, all TruBulk system locations and equipment services are audited annually to maintain seed quality. All operators are certified through annual training by following a set of guidelines to protect the seed for maximum germination.

"Our certification and annual audit sets NK and Garst TruBulk locations apart from other seed dealer facilities," Wietgrefe explained. "With TruBulk systems in 23 states, every grower can expect quality seed through the TruBulk system from Syngenta no matter where they are geographically located."

Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2006 were approximately $8.1 billion. Syngenta employs around 21,000 people in over 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at www.syngenta.com.

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