Soon farmers will know much more about the fruits of their labor this year, as corn and soybean harvest ramps up. There is a prevailing optimism for yields ahead of the Indiana harvest, and Eric Boeck, Syngenta Seed’s head of marketing for North America says plant breeding advancements will again help crops make it through this year’s weather problems across the Corn Belt.
“The good news is genetics today can withstand an awful lot, so we’re excited to see what farmers are going to be able to produce,” he said. “No doubt that modern plant breeding has increased the defensive characteristics of soybeans and corn quite a bit. We think about soybeans, for example our proprietary genetics that we have being able to withstand Phytophthora, white mold, sudden death syndrome, three of the biggest diseases that are out there in soybeans and this year in particular those genetics being able to be available in both the Xtend Flex platform and the Enlist E3 platform.”
“Whether it’s using helicopters for driving standability, or whether it’s using our stalk pressure technology we call it on our combine heads that allows us to test the standability late season in corn, those are the things that are helping us continue to make advancements in genetic gain for farmers,” Boeck explained.
Technology has even made pandemic operations at R&D more manageable.
“You know that’s one of the things we are most proud of with the pandemic, both with the commercial side of the business and with the plant breeding side of the business and production. We’ve been able to withstand a lot of the challenges and work through the covid situation and you know one of the things that’s really helped us in the research and development side of things is the ability to use digital tools and ability to use automated tools to be able to do plant breeding.”
Boeck was at Farm Progress Show. He also spoke about Syngenta Artesian which is helping drive yield in drought conditions in the west, and the company is excited about ability to control corn rootworm in the east with their Agrisure stack that combines Duracade control below ground with Viptera control above ground. Hear more in the HAT interview: