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Kansas Wheat Innovation Center

New Varieties, New Solutions from Syngenta/AgriPro

Aug 31, 2012

New varieties with new diseases and agronomic packages for Kansas wheat farmers are coming from Syngenta the next two years.

Available this fall from the company’s Junction City wheat breeding program is SY Wolf, which has been a top-performing variety in several university and private yield trials. Adapted for farmers north of I-70 throughout Kansas, SY Wolf features excellent resistance to the 2010 and 2012 strains of stripe rust; moderate resistance to leaf rust, tan spot and septoria leaf blotch and has excellent drought tolerance and test weight characteristics.

Jon Rich, wheat breeder for Syngenta, says SY Wolf is a great fit for no-till farmers planting wheat after wheat stubble, or due to its excellent tillering ability, wheat into soybeans following fall harvest. It is a medium maturity, medium height variety.

“The yields of SY Wolf compare favorably to Armour and Everest, and it really shines when it has a seed treatment applied to it. In South Dakota, we’ve seen a seven to eight bushel per acre improvement in yields when a seed treatment is applied,” Rich says.

SY Wolf is available to farmers this fall.

SY Wolf will be joined next fall by SY Southwind, which will be on increase by AgriPro associates this fall. SY Southwind features excellent resistance to leaf and stripe rust, Hessian fly resistance and tolerance to Barley Yellow Dwarf. SY Southwind has good straw strength and possesses very good milling and baking properties, Rich says. It is a medium-short, early-maturing variety that grows well in low pH soils.

The launch of SY Wolf this fall the SY Southwind next fall represent continued growth of Syngenta and further development of a “systems approach” to growing wheat, says Matt Keating, cereals key account lead for Syngenta.

Syngenta’s crop protection portfolio includes seed treatments and fungicides, which can improve yield potential in less-than-ideal growing conditions. In fact, Syngenta is studying the effects of crop protection products like seed treatment fungicides and insecticides on specific wheat seed varieties.

For instance, in no-till or reduced tillage environments, crop residue provides a good habitat for wireworms. “On average, we could lose 5% of the wheat stand to wireworms. A seed-applied insecticide can dramatically reduce that problem,” Keating says. “Seed treatments are not a silver bullet, but they can provide insect and disease control until the crop hits dormancy.”

Rich says wheat farmers are keen to improving management skills.

“They are understanding fertility needs and that planting certified seed can improve yield. Now, we’re starting to look more at the benefits of seed treatments and chemistry solutions that can fix problems that routinely plague wheat production. Our job at Syngenta is to provide the best package to not only create higher yields, but create yield stability year after year,” Rich says.

The company’s hybrid wheat program is showing great potential in doing just that. Expanded hybrid trials will be planted this fall, and commercial wheat hybrids could be available in seven or eight years. It all adds up to a bright future for wheat producers, Rich says.

“Syngenta is in a great position of being able to provide not only top-quality wheat genetics, but the whole package of products that can help producers be more profitable.”

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