GrowMore Experience showcases vegetable crop protection pipeline
Syngenta has rewritten what farmers and advisers might expect from field demonstrations in the future with a nine-crop, multi-target site at Gatton, with an emphasis on real-world spray programs.
GrowMore was devised as a way to give guests a sneak peek at Syngenta’s research and development pipeline. The demonstration was delivered with assistance from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and independent agronomist Ant McConville from Eco Ag.
“This is a significant investment by Syngenta and arguably the biggest the horticulture industry has seen in a demonstration site,” Syngenta Technical Services Lead Shaun Hood said.
“The GrowMore site is one hectare in size, with nine crops planted to highlight new technology, so that growers and advisors could touch and feel the benefits of products we’re bringing to market.”
Laid out in three bays, work began on the site six months out from the November-date Syngenta planned to bring guests together at GrowMore.
- Bay one demonstrated a commercial spray program including a new dual-mode of action fungicide, across cucurbits, leafy vegetables and spring onions. Submitted for registration, this group 11 and 49 product has been designed for the control of Downy Mildew and suppression of other key diseases including Gummy Stem Blight and White Rot.
- The second bay introduced growers and advisors to a pesticide with a new mode of action, which has only recently been submitted for registration. Targeting silverleaf white fly, thrips and aphids, and lepidopteran pests the insecticide was applied as part of a commercial spray program in tomatoes. The bay was also used to demonstrate the benefits associated with the responsible use of Durivo in both cabbage and broccoli. Applied in the nursery, this product clearly controlled both chewing and sucking pests during the important establishment period delivering a uniform crop offering harvesting efficiencies.
- Finally, the third bay demonstrated the benefits of a potato disease management program featuring Syngenta’s recently released liquid seed treatment Vibrance Premium, as well as Miravis, release earlier this year as foliar spray for Alternaria (target spot). While the potatoes were planted late in the season, guests observed the benefits associated with this new chemistry, extended green leaf retention delivered clean tubers that were more uniform in size.
“The feedback from the growers and advisors was really positive, and they were pleased we had addressed resistance management while making sure the spray programs were commercially realistic,” Shaun said.
Syngenta Senior Product Lead for potatoes and vegetables, Richard Packard, said it was rare for farmers to see untreated crops and how much damage pests and diseases could do.
“The layout of the site enables guests to compare treated versus untreated crops, allowing us to develop an in-depth understanding of the target, see how much damage these pests and diseases can do if left unchecked, and how to effectively control them as part of a program,” Richard said.
'It’s brilliant for us to be able to demonstrate the value of our program and the benefits that new innovation is bringing to growers in helping them deliver sustainable approaches to protecting the potential of their crops.'
Paul Luxton, Syngenta Australia-New Zealand Territory Head, opened GrowMore to guests at a dusk dinner function at the site on November 14, which kicked-off two weeks of grower visits.
“What we really want to achieve with this GrowMore site is showcase some of this new technology we’ve got coming through our pipeline and we certainly achieved that,” he said.
“We are first and foremost a company that brings new innovations to market. Globally we spend $1.5 billion annually on research and development, and with access to cutting edge technology, we then get to tailor those solutions specifically for Australian and NZ growers, providing them a competitive edge.”
“There are few things more important than putting quality food on the table and taking care of the environment and that’s something we at Syngenta are pretty proud of.”