The company’s new Agrisure Viptera trait offers a new mode of action against lepidopteran corn pests like black cutworm, corn earworm, fall armyworm and stalk borer. Roger Kemble, head of technology, explains, “A whole class of Vip [vegetative insecticidal proteins] is initiated during the vegetative growth stage of Bt. [The proteins] can then be used for other modes of action. . . . Even though we started with the same thing, we now have a new mode of action.”

The company reports that the Agrisure Viptera trait also can reduce the development of molds and mycotoxins.

Pooling genetics from three seed companies has allowed Syngenta Seeds to develop hybrids across many different maturities and geographies.

"The need for very localized hybrids has really come forward," Morgan says. “We make sure we have the right hybrid for the right locale.” As a result, 140 new hybrids will be on the market in 2011.

About 80% of the new hybrids are triple stacks, and many will have the Viptera trait, according to Morgan. He reports that, in early 2010 field trials, many Syngenta Seeds triple stacks were outperforming larger stacks sold by competitors.