One year after announcing a comprehensive long-term commitment to the NK seed brand, Syngenta is bucking the trend of industry consolidation and reporting significant growth across the NK organization – from the lab to the field.
The company made a major financial pledge to NK in 2017 after seeing a growing desire from farmers for a better, more personalized seeds experience. Just 12 months later, this five-year commitment already has had a quick impact on the number of sales representatives and agronomists in the field, as well as on new advancements in research and development.
As part of the investment:
- The combined NK sales and agronomy team is tripling in size.
- The number of U.S. plant breeders is increasing by 50% and product trials by 30%.
- The number of new corn chassis is going up by 58%, from 19 per year to 30 per year.
The organization continues to grow, said Quinn Showalter, head of NK sales.
“Given today’s challenging agricultural climate, farmers are rightfully demanding more from their seeds experience,” he said. “We know that they’re not only asking for great products, they’re looking for new technologies and opportunities that will help them boost their whole-farm ROI potential. With our across-the-board investment in the NK brand, we’re better equipped than ever to listen and help them thrive.”
Farmers are responding positively to the commitment. Since it was first announced, NK seed purchases and customer numbers have both been on the rise.
About 20 percent of Syngenta seed sales are reinvested in research and development. This support is strengthening NK with an array of innovations such as a state-of-the-art trait conversion capability that is helping to bring the latest, most desirable trait packages to market with the newest genetics.
The investment has also revitalized the NK corn portfolio. With access to one of the industry’s largest and most diverse germplasm pools, NK breeders are consistently delivering new hybrids with high yield potential and stability. Factor in industry-leading trait stacks like Agrisure Duracade 5222A E-Z Refuge – the ultimate trait stack for premium insect control, choice, simplicity and water optimization – and farmers can feel confident their NK hybrids’ genetic yield potential is protected.
“We understand that in today’s climate, most farmers choose to invest only in products they know will help them maximize their ROI potential,” said Joe Bollman, corn product manager for NK. “That’s why we put our efforts into thoughtful, focused research and development – starting with what the farmer needs.”
Meanwhile, NK soybeans are winning fields across the U.S. with top-end yields. Through a combination of proprietary genetics, leading agronomic traits and herbicide trait choices, Syngenta brand varieties including NK recently secured more top-three finishes than two major competitors combined in independent trials.1
“From the way we approach breeding to our rigorous seed quality management protocols to informed, advanced placement support, NK is committed to delivering a high-value soybean experience for farmers,” said Scott Erickson, soybean product manager for NK.
Growth to continue
More innovation is coming.
For example, farmers are expected to benefit from a new $30 million trait conversion accelerator currently under construction in Nampa, ID. They also will have access to new, best-in-class trait stacks like Agrisure Viptera 3330 E-Z Refuge – providing the industry’s broadest above- and below-ground insect control – as well as a first-of-its-kind soybean trait that will provide new options for weed control.
Additionally, the NK brand and organization will continue to evolve to offer an ever-better seed experience, with more enhancements promised in the coming months.
“Our mission is simple: to help farmers have their most profitable seasons yet through innovation,” Showalter said. “We haven’t slowed down, and we don’t plan to. NK is still expanding and hiring for many positions – something we know is not the industry norm in 2018.”