Recent summer demo days held across the country at Syngenta’s Innovation Centres and Platform Sites have provided growers and agronomists the opportunity to see first-hand, at a local level, the R and D work coming through the product pipeline.
Head of technical, Dave King, explains why these open days continue to be such a hit with the industry. “There is no doubt that holding trials on your own land is one of the best ways to get a feel for certain products and technologies, and our Innovation Centres and Platform Sites near enough provide this for many of the growers who attend the events.
“They are able to see the performance of different varieties and crop protection products under different circumstances, as well as speak directly to technical experts who can share their knowledge, and all on a farm local to them,” says Mr King.
On show at the 11 demo days this summer have been Syngenta’s HYVIDO® hybrid barley varieties, the latest SDHI technology, wheat varieties and application techniques all in a real-life situation, under normal disease and weed pressures.
“We have some exciting things coming through the pipeline at the moment. This year we’ve seen the launch of our new SDHI seed treatment VIBRANCE® DUO, proven to improve rooting and plant development, as well as our powerful SDHI fungicide ELATUS ERA.
“With growers investing significantly in disease control programmes, they want to be sure they are going to get a return on their investment. That’s why showcasing this new technology at our demo days allows people to make a judgement for themselves and see what this new SDHI technology is capable of delivering in a local environment.”
He explains that the demo days also gave the opportunity for growers to hear about traits of different varieties and their suitability to different regions and markets to help with decision making. “For example, at our York Innovation Centre we spoke a lot about the wheat variety GRAHAM due to its hardy nature and disease resilience.
“Whereas, at our Rougham Innovation Centre, REFLECTION and our new Group 4 variety SHABRAS were big talking points. As a consistently high-yielding variety, SHABRAS is an early maturing option that could be very favourable for growers throughout the UK.
“The demonstration of our HYVIDO varieties also meant growers and agronomists heard how these varieties have a role to play in supressing black-grass, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues facing growers in the east, and becoming an ever-increasing problem in the west.
“Every farm is unique in the challenges it faces. But, the opportunity to attend the summer demo days not only provides a networking opportunity before the busy harvest period, but the opportunity to learn something new.
“You can’t underestimate the value of sharing knowledge and expertise with those hungry for information on how they can be working to maximise returns, and drive improvements,” says Mr King.