Golden Valley, MN, November 7, 2007 - As combines roll across the Corn Belt this fall, it marks the end of another season for corn and soybean farmers. However, fall harvest is just the beginning for the seed companies that support those farmers.
"The seed production fields Syngenta is harvesting now will be processed, bagged and headed back out to farmers in a matter of weeks so they'll be ready to plant next spring," explained Chuck Lee, head of corn marketing for Syngenta. "Fortunately, it's been an outstanding crop this year so there should be ample supplies of Garst®, NK® and Golden Harvest® seeds for farmers next year." Lee added that the vast majority of the of corn seed being processed for 2008 planting contains stacked traits, including Agrisure® 3000GT, Syngenta's new quad stack that protects the corn crop against both corn borer and corn rootworm, while providing tolerance to in-season applications of both glyphosate and LIBERTY® herbicides.
"The 2007 seed crop is the largest ever produced by Syngenta and is of exceptional quality despite spotty weather conditions across the Midwest," said Mike Hollands, vice president of corn and soybean supply for Syngenta. "We are harvesting and conditioning record volumes of seed and shipping larger orders to more customers in a timely manner."
The company recently invested more than $25 million in its seed supply facilities in Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, and those investments are paying off now with capacity to dry and process larger volumes of seed faster.
"Ten years ago a typical seed company might handle 50-60 different products," Lee said. "With advancements in breeding and the trait stack options today, farmers can choose from hundreds of corn products. It takes good planning and the right production technology to make sure all customers get exactly the products they want, when they want them."
Syngenta is working equally hard to provide ample supplies of top quality soybean seed, according to Gene Kassmeyer, head of soybean marketing for Syngenta Seeds. "Despite localized environmental conditions, we have high-quality soybean seed for the many new NK Brand soybeans we have available for 2008. The fact that Syngenta produces seed across a wide geography minimizes the effect of localized weather conditions on seed supply."
"We're filling custom orders with the varieties, treatments and packaging that the grower requests," Kassmeyer said. "The upgrades we've made in the past few years help us more efficiently process the crop and make sure our customers get the high-quality soybean seed that they need." In addition to a range of maturities, some varieties are bred with resistance to phytophthora root rot, soybean cyst nematode, iron deficiency chlorosis and other factors. Then, in processing the soybean seed, Syngenta accounts for different preferences in seed treatments and package size that ranges from a 50-pound bag to a 2,500-pound bulk container.