First Seed Treatment Nematicide Receives Registration for Use on Corn

An AVICTA® brand seed treatment nematicide from Syngenta Seed Care recently was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on corn. Syngenta Seed Care will offer the new AVICTA brand seed treatment nematicide in combination with an enhanced rate of Cruiser® seed treatment insecticide and the most robust seed treatment fungicide package available (Apron XL®, Maxim® XL and Dynasty®) to provide corn growers with complete early-season protection against nematodes, insects and diseases. AVICTA brand nematicide will be widely demonstrated in cooperation with seed companies in the form of large plot, on-farm plantings during the 2009 planting season, and will be launched commercially in 2010.

“The new AVICTA brand seed treatment is a breakthrough in early-season pest protection and a leading advancement in the development of seed treatment solutions for corn growers,” said Mark Jirak, crop manager, Syngenta Seed Care. “The combination of an AVICTA brand, Cruiser and the Syngenta Seed Care corn fungicide package will be the only seed-delivered technology that offers growers triple protection against nematodes, insects and diseases.”

Corn nematode populations have escalated in recent years due to changes in production practices. In the past, nematode damage was suppressed by the widespread use of in-furrow organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Now, with the switch to pyrethroid insecticides and transgenic rootworm-resistant corn, nematode pressure may become more evident as these products lack the ability to suppress nematode populations. The increased trend in no-till farming may have helped provide an environment for nematodes to thrive because these pests are sensitive to soil disturbance. Also, corn-on-corn cropping, which has become more prevalent in the last few years, can also cause corn-damaging nematode numbers to build.

Many different species of nematodes live in U.S. corn fields. In fact, the majority of corn nematode species are native to the United States and were present before corn was even cultivated domestically. In 2007, Syngenta Seed Care initiated a survey of corn nematode populations throughout the Midwest. Surveyors took three random soil/root samples in each county of the Midwestern Corn Belt with at least 25,000 acres of corn. Five university labs and one private lab processed the samples and determined that corn-damaging nematodes were found in every county sampled.

Southern growers have an advantage over the rest of the country because of their long history with battling nematodes in cotton. They already know nematodes exist and have experienced first-hand the destruction that can lead to yield loss and a decline in profit. Most of the nematodes present in cotton fields, including two of the most damaging nematodes in cotton production, the root-knot nematode and lance nematode, also are threats to corn acreage.

An AVICTA brand seed treatment nematicide provides immediate protection against all major early-season nematode species, including root-knot, stubby-root, sting, dagger, ring, stunt, spiral, needle, lesion and lance nematodes. Providing effective nematode protection from the time the seed is planted promotes stronger stands and emergence, and builds the foundation for better yield and return on investment potential.

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 2007 were approximately $9.2 billion. Syngenta employs over 21,000 people in more than 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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