|LESLIE SHARP shows some of the test plants at the Crops Demonstration
Day at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Singapore, April 26, 2012.
Syngenta, the multinational company based in Switzerland that is solely focused on agribusiness, has been developing innovations that are aimed at helping farmers produce higher yields, better profits in a sustainable manner.
And what are these? They develop seed materials with improved desirable traits. Then they have crop protection products that keep the farmers’ plants from harm’s way. One of them is Cruiser that is used to coat the seeds before planting. This protects the plants from as many as 25 corn pests like cutworm, armyworm, semilooper and others. Cruiser does not only protect the plants from the early stage of growth to harvest time, it has other advantages. It promotes vigorous root development so that the plant can be less affected by stresses like low available moisture level in the soil. Cruiser also makes the leaves greener so that the plant is more efficient in photosynthesis or in “cooking” the nutrients absorbed from the soil so the plant can use the same for its growth, flowering and fruiting.
Syngenta has also come up with Avicta which is the first chemical that is used to treat the seeds for the control of nematode. Then there is Force for controlling corn root worm that is prevalent in some places.
EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS are in the offing. Expected to be launched soon is Agrisure Viptera which is claimed to be able to control the lepidopterous pests that do a lot of damage to corn from the young seedlings to mature plants. These include such pests as cutworm, armyworm, earworm, semilooper and others.
Through biotechnology the unique Lepidoptera Trait will be inserted into the genes of the corn plant so that it can protect itself from the damage caused by lepidopterous insects. Syngenta is also developing the Halex GT which will make the corn tolerant to glyphosate, a herbicide. This means that it will be much easier to control weeds which are very destructive if they are not controlled in the early growth stage of the corn plants. It means that the corn plants will not be damaged by the herbicide even if they are partly sprayed during the spraying of the weeds.
It is much more economical to control weeds with the use of herbicide rather than by manual weeding.
Through Agrisure Artesian, Syngenta combines the products of its chemistry research and water management. And under drought conditions, this technology has been proven to increase corn yield in the US by 14 bushels per acre.
These developments were showcased at the Crops Demonstration Day conducted by Syngenta at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Singapore on April 26, 2012 to which we were invited to attend. Hardeep Grewal and Elsie Sharp did the explaining in the Corn Booth.