Seeds of change are in progress for Syngenta this spring as brands merge and a revised retailer network is launched.
Seeds of change are in progress for Syngenta this spring. Company officials announced this week it is merging two of its seed corn brands, Garst and Golden Harvest, and that it is implementing a new focus for its seed advisors network.
The network is comprised of independent dealers who have focused traditionally on only seed sales for the company. Now, the Midwest-based network of dealers will also advise farmers on Syngenta seed treatments and crop protection products, according to Colin Steen, head of the company’s dealer channel commercial unit.
Steen says the change reflects the company’s effort to better meet farmer needs and simplify the decision-making processes farmers face each year.
"For example, based on pressure from rootworm or other insects, (the advisor) can recommend the right trait package but also understands when a seed treatment or soil insecticide may help boost crop performance," Steen explains.
He adds that there has been no change to the field personnel who call on farmers.
This week, Syngenta also announced it is in the process of merging its Garst and Golden Harvest seed corn brands. Starting next fall, existing Garst hybrids will be sold thereafter under a revised Golden Harvest seed brand. A new hybrid numbering system and logo for Golden Harvest will be in place for 2013 field trials and the 2014 planting season.
Going to a single corn brand will help streamlines logistics for the seed advisors, from the seed ordering process through inventory and delivery, according to Steen. "Combined with the numerous operational improvements we’ve made, we’ll be able to give growers quicker and better access to products they want," he says.
The Garst and Thomas Seed Corn Co., was founded in 1930 by Roswell Garst and Charles Thomas in Coon Rapids, Iowa. The company is known in the agricultural industry for its colorful, rich history. For instance, in 1959, during the Cold War, Roswell Garst took the controversial step to host then Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and his family at his farm to promote the Green Revolution and to encourage agricultural trade between the United States and Russia.
"We respect the rich history and heritage of both the Garst and Golden Harvest brands," Steen says. "But we’re in a position now where we can better serve our customers by bringing them together under a single corn brand."
Syngenta expects to close the Coon Rapids Garst plant by December 31, 2013.