Welcome to Basel, Switzerland, home to Syngenta. In this picturesque city located along the banks of the Rhine River, you’ll find the headquarters to a company that extends its reach to more than 90 countries around the world with its more than 26,000 employees.
Although the company in its present form was created in late 2000 when Novartis and AstraZeneca merged their agribusinesses, its parent company roots stretch back well over 200 years. In fact, the company can trace its roots to Geigy, which was formed in 1758.
It’s been a busy year for Syngenta. Healthy growth in the company’s crop protection and seeds businesses worldwide, new products, and a pipeline with products in their final stages of commercial introduction have put worldwide sales at approximately $10.4 billion in the first nine months of 2011.
The influence of sustainable agricultural systems is evident at Agritechnica 2011, with two buildings filled with companies devoted to alternative energy solutions for the farm — from biogas to solar to wind, and everything in between.
Plant breeders must analyze vast amounts of data to bring new hybrids and varieties to the market. In 2001, Pioneer generated about one million data points for the year. In 2010, the company collected one million data points a day.
Seed companies expect refuge-in-a-bag (RIB) products to be the hottest seed items to be sold in the next few years. Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred have RIB products approved for 2012 and Syngenta is awaiting approval.
The first documented case of corn rootworm resistance to Bt hybrids expressing the Cry3Bb1 toxin (found in Yieldgard RW, Yieldgard VT3 and SmartStax hybrid) has been documented by Iowa State University researchers.
Growers are nervous about corn that has already been planted and corn that's not been planted. University of Wisconsin and Dairyland Seed experts says there's still time for seed to grow and time for more planting before growers need to consider changes.