Sponsored by: Syngenta
Grow More Experience sites offer expert agronomic knowledge tailored to local growing conditions.
Brad Schindler (left) with Syngenta and Jeremy Galles (right) from Remsen, Iowa, examine soybean foliage at the Carroll, Iowa, Grow More Experience site.
By Darcy Maulsby / Photography by Kristin DeSutter
When Jason Weirich, Ph.D., director of agronomy with MFA Incorporated, received an invitation to visit the Grow More™Experience site near Columbia, Missouri, in 2016, he didn’t jump at the opportunity, because he assumed that the site would be the same as the year before. But he’s glad he changed his mind.
“This isn’t your typical field day,” says Weirich. “Syngenta team members do a great job of sticking to the agronomic message and avoiding the same old sales pitch year in and year out. As a fellow agronomist, I find this very valuable.”
In addition to tweeting updates as he toured the Grow More Experience site, Weirich coordinated a special tour of the site for MFA Incorporated’s crop consulting team. “The team found this to be very beneficial,” Weirich says. “Not only does the site include Syngenta technologies, but it showcases local agronomic production practices geared to help improve farmers’ productivity.”
The diverse learning opportunities at each Grow More Experience site offer practical insights, along with hands-on agronomic training and demonstrations, to help local growers be more successful. The sites evolve and offer new insights each year, Weirich notes.
“Most field days you attend are the same. Not at the Grow More Experience sites, where you are in the middle of the plot looking at the weeds, diseases and other agronomic issues currently affecting the crop. The message is spot-on, and I find this to be a great asset for my team of agronomists.”
Let’s Go Local
Syngenta is offering more than 60 Grow More Experience site locations across North America in 2017. Each site focuses on the latest developments related to local crops, including corn and soybeans in the Midwest, cotton and rice in the South, vegetables in the East, and specialty crops in the western U.S.
“There are no cookie-cutter Grow More Experience sites,” says Michael Moss, Ph.D., head of technical development for Syngenta. “Each site focuses on real-world topics that are important to local growers, who can put information that’s immediately relevant into practice on their farms.”
Since the first Grow More Experience prototype debuted in 2013, the program has progressed to include more agronomic trials, Syngenta genetics, Seedcare™ solutions and crop protection products focused on the local geographical area. For example, the 2017 Grow More Experience site south of Alexandria, Louisiana, will include sugar cane—an important crop for that particular area of the state.
“We’ll be testing a variety of crop protection products, including a mesotrione/S-metolachlor/atrazine formulation for weed control in sugar cane,” says Keith Burnell, Ph.D., agronomic service representative for Syngenta, who has helped develop sites in Louisiana. He notes that the formulation, which is still pending EPA approval and is currently registered in corn and sorghum, is showing promise in sugar cane as well The sites will also address herbicide sensitivity shifts in weeds growing in rice and soybean fields; an azoxystrobin fungicide formulation in rice and cotton, with registration in both crops pending; demonstrations of Syngenta Seedcare technologies, including Clariva® Complete Beans and Avicta® Elite Cotton Plus with Vibrance®—both nematicide/insecticide/fungicide seed treatments and combinations of separately registered products; and much more.
The specific trials featured at each Grow More Experience site reflect feedback from growers and retailers. “We ask people what they’d like to see and listen to their input,” Burnell says. “Our goal is to offer the most value to them.”
Experience the Value
Providing value is essential, since growers have a lot of choices in the marketplace, Moss says. Grow More Experience sites help visitors:
- See the big picture. An integrated agronomic approach is essential to improve crop performance. Growers who work with Vicky Shaffer, owner of Blacklog Ag Services in Lakewood, Illinois, enjoy seeing firsthand how various corn hybrids perform in a variety of settings. They also like learning how the timing of planting can impact their crops, how different crop protection products influence weed control and how insect pressure affects crops.
“Growers don’t always notice these things in their own fields, because they don’t have anything to compare them to,” Shaffer says. “The Grow More Experience site is all about knowledge.”
- Discover what’s new. Grow More Experience attendees have a front-row seat to see the best new Syngenta technologies that can bring maximum value to farmers’ fields. For example, many 2017 sites will feature Adepidyn®fungicide, a promising new active ingredient—currently under regulatory review—for treating foliar diseases, including leaf spots and blights, in row crops and specialty crops. Upon registration, products containing Adepidyn fungicide will be marketed under the Miravis® fungicide brand product line.
“Grow More Experience sites not only benefit participants, but they offer an excellent way for our team members to learn,” says Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., technical development lead for specialty crops at Syngenta. To keep the momentum going, Syngenta plans to create additional Grow More Experience sites in Colorado and Michigan, Shetty notes.
- Maximize return on investment. In addition to featuring new Syngenta technologies, each Grow More Experience site shows how to incorporate existing Syngenta products for best results. “The Syngenta folks do a fabulous job of explaining detailed scenarios that happen in everyday crop production,” Shaffer says. “By showing firsthand why A impacts B, they motivate growers to consider different ways to increase their productivity and boost return on investment.”
- Benefit from individualized learning. The small-group setting of most Grow More Experience site events promotes interaction among participants and Syngenta representatives. In 2017, Syngenta will encourage more food-processing company representatives to participate in Grow More Experience sites focused on potatoes and other specialty crops, where quality is as important as yield.
“Grow More Experience sites not only benefit participants, but they offer an excellent way for our teammembers to learn,” says Kiran Shetty, Ph.D., technical development lead for specialty crops at Syngenta. Tokeep the momentum going, Syngenta plans to create additional Grow More Experience sites in Colorado andMichigan, Shetty notes.
- Continue the conversation. As the growing season progresses, there’s a new story to be told at each Grow More Experience site each week. Syngenta relies on time-lapse photography, multiple field days and follow-up resources to help tell the complete story.
“Growers are always interested in year-end results,” says Doug Kirkbride, product development agronomy manager for Syngenta. “It’s important to close the loop and share this information through winter meetings and more.”
There’s no time like now to get involved with a local Grow More Experience site, says Weirich. “Be sure to check out one of these sites for yourself. It will help you become a better agronomist or producer.”
For the latest news and information from Syngenta, visit www.syngentathrive.com.
© 2017 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Avicta Duo Cotton and Avicta Duo COT202 are Restricted Use Pesticides. Adepidyn fungicide and Miravis fungicide brands are not currently registered for use or sale in the United States. Avicta Elite Cotton with Vibrance is an on-seed application of Avicta Duo Cotton or Avicta Duo COT202 nematicide/insecticide, Gaucho Grande insecticide and Vibrance fungicide. Clariva Complete Beans is an on-seed application of Clariva pn and CruiserMaxx Vibrance. Adepidyn®, Avicta®, Clariva®, CruiserMaxx®, Grow More™, Miravis®, Seedcare™, Vibrance® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Gaucho® is a registered trademark of Bayer.