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Agrimarketing : January-Febuary 2010
products ranging from water opti- mization technology in corn to sec- ond-generation herbicide tolerance in soybeans. It anticipates water optimization technology will be available for 2011 planting. The water optimization technology is designed to help corn use moisture more efficiently. In the very near future, the company hopes to bring growers the opportunity to plant corn hybrids for ethanol production with a corn amylase trait branded Enogen. "Enogen corn is currently in its third successful plant trial and will offer ethanol producers a significant cost advantage of between 8 cents and 15 cents per gallon," Lee says. "Enogen is in the final stages of the regulatory process and Syngenta believes that it will play a vital role in improving productivity at a criti- cal time for the ethanol industry." Morgan says, "The NK Soybeans pipeline has an exciting line-up of new products containing the traits needed to protect crops from com- mon yield-robbing diseases and emerging challenges such as sudden death syndrome and Sclerotinia white mold." MARKETING "Syngenta holds the number one or two positions in all the countries it operates in, except NAFTA Seeds where we're number three," Lee reports. "We are changing that." In the U.S. the company has a total of approximately 300 sales representatives, which serve the three seed brands. It also has 40 agronomists who support all three brands and provide agronomic research informa- tion and advice to growers. Pricing is similar across all three brands. "We have several competitive advantages and are really playing with a full hand," Lee continues. "Our products include outstanding germplasm and traits, and with Syngenta's other divisions, we have seed care, crop protection products, as well, as in-depth agronomic information and support. "Another advantage is we are big where we need to be, such as the R&D and financial resources of Syngenta, but small where we need to be, such as the multi-channel approach. That is, if a customer prefers making the seed transaction on the farm, there is Golden Harvest and Garst. A crop input retailer? There's NK. Supporting its sales efforts, the company has launched an extensive marketing communications campaign. In addition to traditional media including print, radio, TV, direct mail and shows, the company is increasing its public relations activities and wants to build greater relationships with grower and sales channel "social networks." "With the wide spread use of computers and mobile devices," Lee explains, "We can quickly get the word out on our results and successes. For example, let's say we just harvest a test plot. The information can be sent by the researcher to the Syngenta Seeds sales rep, who in turn can transmit it to his dealers, who can then forward it to their customers. "It used to take days to get the word out. Now it can happen in a matter of minutes." THE BUILDING And then there is the new headquar- ters. Attending its opening was Syngenta CEO Mike Mack and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Mack was previously the seed division's global COO and President of NAFTA Crop Protection. Mack, who previously was the Seed Division's COO says, "This building is a symbol of our lasting commitment to build our seeds business." Located in the western Minneapolis suburb of Minnetonka, it was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, consists of 116,000 square feet on a 14-acre plot of land and hosts 300 employees. "Our reputation is growing as a leader in agriculture and our new headquarters reflects our accom- plishments, underscores our intent to move boldly into the future and signals our commitment to the com- munity in which we work and the sustainability principles we embrace," Morgan states. The highly competitive seed business is not for the faint of heart. But when Syngenta, one of the world's largest agricultural companies, decides to build its business in the sector, chances are very good they will succeed. AM NEW DIRECTION/continued from page 20 THE DUPONT PARTNERSHIP In the spring of 2006, Syngenta Seeds and DuPont unit Pioneer Hi-Bred announced a new joint venture named GreenLeaf Genetics LLC to out-license each company's germplasm and traits to other seed companies. The company is headquartered in Omaha, NE, and veteran seedsman Ron Wulfkuhle is its CEO. Last October, GreenLeaf hosted representatives of over 100 seed companies to its annual Octoberfest, held in the new Syngenta Seeds headquarters. "GreenLeaf feels fortunate to have the support of Pioneer and Syngenta and is proud to represent their traits and genetics in the market- place," Wulfkule said. "Over the past few years, we have seen increasing support from our customers, as was experienced with the record attendance at Oktoberfest. It is an exciting time to be an independent seed company and we're excited to help them differentiate profit and thrive." In their remarks to the attendees, Pioneer President Paul Schickler and Syngenta President David Morgan each pledged their organization's contin- ued commitment to GreenLeaf. "We are extremely pleased with Greenleaf's success in offering an alternative source of genetics and traits to other seed companies and their customers," Schickler said. AM (L to R) Ron Wulfkule, GreenLeaf Genetics; David Morgan, Syngenta Seeds: Paul Schickler, Pioneer; Bryan Kliewer, GreenLeaf Genetics, and Davor Pisk, COO, Syngenta Seeds. 22 Agri Marketing January/February 2010
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