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Syngenta Set to Grow NK Corn, Soybean Offerings

Company aims to be No. 3 by 2023.

With an aim of offering more choice to farmers, Syngenta is continuing to plow more resources into its NK brand of corn and soybean seed.

This comes on the heels a year after announcing a comprehensive commitment to the NK seed brand.

Farmers seek a choice

The company made a pledge after seeing a desire from farmers for a better, more personalized seeds experience. The company has boosted the number of sales representatives and agronomists in the field and has spent more on new advancements and development.

As part of the investment:

  • The number of NK sales and agronomy team has tripled.
  • The number of U.S. plant breeders has increased by 50% and product trials by 30%.
  • The number of new corn chassis is increasing by 58%, from 19 per year to 30 per year.

The organization continues to grow, and within the next five years, it aims to garner 15% of the national seed market for corn and soybeans, said Quinn Showalter, head of NK sales.  

“Given today’s challenging agricultural climate, farmers are rightfully demanding more from their seeds experience,” he said in a statement. “We know that they’re not only asking for great products, they’re looking for new technologies and opportunities that will help them boost their whole-farm ROI potential. With our across-the-board investment in the NK brand, we’re better equipped than ever to listen and help them thrive.”

Since Syngenta announced a year ago its investment into the NK seed brand, NK seed purchases and customer numbers are both on the rise.

Dealer support

More than 90% of NK genetics are sold through an ag retailer network, who are well versed in crop technology and crop protection, said Tracy Mader, head of NK marketing and strategy. “Retailers are taking more of these products to farmers, and they do a good job of packaging products. They understand that farmers need value and return on investment.”

NK has expanded its agronomy staff and sales team, and it will continue to add staff to support the brand’s growth strategy.

Boosting research

About 20% of Syngenta seed sales are reinvested in research and development, such as NK’s conversion capability, which helps to bring trait packages to market with the newest genetics in both corn and soybeans.

The company is building a new, $30 million trait conversion accelerator in Nampa, Idaho. It also has a field of growth chamber near Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, through which new varieties and hybrids can be grown out in a short time, allowing researchers to quickly select genetics. 

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