Why visit a Syngenta Innovation Centre Open Day?
Yesterday nearly 100 farmers and agronomists descended on the Syngenta Innovation Centre in Newark for one of our open days. The Innovation Centres are farms where we trial every aspect of modern crop production to give us an informed view of why we achieved the end result so ultimately, we can better inform our customers.
After a quick coffee, yesterday’s visitors split into groups to visit each of our five themed areas for 2018.
An integral element of grass weed control is using advances in application technology to maximise the performance of your herbicides.
Application Specialist, Harry Fordham, was on hand to demonstrate the performance of 90% drift reduction nozzles and make recommendations on which nozzles are the best on the market for pre-emergence herbicide applications.
“The pressure is on for deciding when to spray, as wind speed (particularly in the east) is rarely optimal for spraying. It also causes your application to be less effective, which undermines the investment you’ve made.”
Syngenta Area Manager, Harry Fordham
Harry also shared the results from trials comparing forward speeds.
“We’ve found that when travelling at 6km/h black-grass control was at 80%. When the speed is 16km/h this reduced to just 40% control. Covering your entire crop at 6km/h isn’t always practical so we recommend a speed of 10-12km/h as a balance.”
Syngenta Area Manager, Harry Fordham
Cereal disease management
Dave King, Head of Technical, and Andy Cunningham, Field Technical Specialist, then talked the farmers and agronomists through adaptive disease management.
“To understand cereal disease management, think about what you’re trying to achieve. Basically, you want your plant to convert sunshine into a bumper yield. Disease blocks the plants ability to do this when it takes over the flag leaf. Every site and crop is different, so you need to really understand what you’re growing and what it needs to thrive”.
Syngenta Technical Manager, Dave King
Multiple varieties have been tested with an adaptive disease management approach at the Newark site. The team explained the chemistry of disease control programmes and how different chemicals can travel through the leaf, uncurl the leaf to allow greater photosynthesis and close up the stomata to protect moisture levels in the crop, particularly important in a season like this.
The common theme throughout the day was farming sustainably, and the team were on hand to show the results of our Operation Pollinator seed mixes. However, there were other ways discussed to farm sustainably whilst maintaining yield and a competitive product.
“On farm decisions often come down to a decision between price and performance. However, if we are to remain sustainable, we need to use a mixed approach to farming and combine chemistry, genetics and technology to do this.”
Syngenta Technical Indication Expert, Jason Tatnell
Growing for End Markets
Tracy Creasy, Seeds Marketing Manager, and Matt Bull, Seeds Technical Manager, provided a run through of the varieties available for drilling this autumn, how they each perform against the requirements of end markets, and how Brexit may affect the market for UK millers.
They also looked at which varieties had slower progress through the growth stages. For some farmers, this is an advantage as you can stagger your applications – helpful in a season like this year, when farmers have had to be responsive to unpredictable weather.
Each variety was discussed in terms of its resistance to disease, regional suitability, strength and yield. With the use of height charts and timelapse cameras, the team have charted the growth of each variety over time.
Following experimenting with drilling dates (drilling either in September, October or November), the team made recommendations for each variety.
“As a rule, October was the best date for drilling, but some varieties were much less affected in terms of yield. Those varieties can offer reassurance for those farmers who aren’t able to fix their drilling dates.”
Syngenta seeds campaign manager, Tracy Creasy
Rooting and establishment
Fast emergence and strong crop development is needed to meet today’s challenges for growing cereals and build the foundation for good yield. With a future without neonicotinoid seed treatments, unpredictable weather and pressure from grass weeds – seed treatments can make a difference. Jon Ronksley, Field Technical Specialist, took attendees through our rooting and establishment trials of different seed treatments.
“A quickly established crop is ideal for a cold wet winter, which is what we saw earlier this year. Our trials show which treatments delivered better yield and this can provide farmers with assurance when they don’t know what the weather will do. We’ve also seen which treatments produce crops that tolerate drought well – and can now make recommendations for which treatment is a ground all-rounder”.
Syngenta Field Technical Specialist, Jon Ronksley
Do you want specialist advice on your crop management? Don’t miss out on your chance to come to an open day, book your place now.