Syngenta's A to Z Crop Enhancement Approach in Maize
By Leon van Wyk and Linda van der Merwe
Syngenta’s motto is "Bringing Plant Potential to Life". To deliver on this our focus has intensified over the past number of years by creating a new research field within the industry known as "Crop Enhancement".
Crop enhancement can only be achieved when one understands the sequence of physiological processes in plants and how the environment impacts these processes. Syngenta has extensive knowledge of the physiological processes that occur in maize and which environmental factors alter these processes and how.
Apart from an indirect affect on plant physiology, certain products also have known direct benefits on physiological processes in crops which can be beneficial if applied on time. By integrating all this knowledge with the application timing of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides the farmers will get closer to their crops’ biological potential. This integration of knowledge and technology was the drive behind Syngenta and its channel partners’ A to Z road show at the start of the season.
A total of 20 events were held in the main maize producing areas during which we interacted with more than 800 farmers. Rikus Kloppers from PANNAR explained the maize seed companies’ stance towards the realization of the potential locked up in their varieties.
New varieties are high-yielding as long as you have a solid understanding of its physiological processes.
Higher levels of management are also necessary to unleash the enormous potential that is locked up in these high-yielding varieties.
Eric Guicherit, Global Technical Manager for the Amistar range, and Gina Swart, Global Technical Manager in Fungicides, injected new life into Amistar Top® with their insights about the optimal application timing for disease control in maize.
A first application in the vicinity of the 5-leaf stage will not only ensure optimal disease control but also enhance the physiological benefits Amistar Top® has on certain processes in the plant.
Eric and Gina also stressed the importance of preventative disease control. Corrective applications imply that the plant was already put under unnecessary stress and this can directly impact its yield.
Leon van Wyk (Product manager for row crops) elaborated on the impact that early weeds can have on certain physiological processes in maize and emphasized that it is paramount to start with weed control before the "switching point".
Starting too late with a weed control program will alter the development of the maize plant and can impact the number of pips on the cob and ultimately its yield. He concluded by showing farmers how a disciplined, systematic approach from "seedling to silo" will create an optimal environment for the maize plant and promote crop enhancement.
Syngenta is the only company with the know-how and the tried-and-tested maize product range from A to Z that helps farmers bring their plants’ potential to life. A disciplined approach starting with seed care, before emergence, followed by sound weed, disease and pest management will create an environment for the maize plant in which it can come closer to its inherent potential.