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Syngenta Opens $30 Million Trait Conversion Accelerator

Syngenta's new Trait Conversion Accelerator in Idaho promises quicker delivery of new corn hybrids.

Syngenta has cut the ribbon on its sparkling new $30 million Trait Conversion Accelerator at its Research and Development and seed production facility near Nampa, Idaho. 

The facility, which officially opened August 23, houses the capabilities and capacity to bring choice in traits to corn growers. Customers of the NK and Golden Harvest corn seed brands, plus independent seed companies that license Syngenta technologies through GreenLeaf Genetics, will benefit from faster access to more hybrids with the latest Agrisure trait technologies. 

David Hollinrake, regional director for Syngenta in North America, says the Trait Conversion Accelerator helps reduce product development life cycles, and provide farmers quicker access to corn products. 

 Hollinrake says two years ago, Syngenta began a five-year, $400 million investment in its North American seeds business, which has bolstered the breeding and product testing capacity and allowed for infrastructure improvements like the Trait Conversion Accelerator. 

Optimized Trait Conversion

For corn hybrids that offer agronomic benefits like insect control, herbicide tolerance and water optimization, breeders use a technique called trait conversion, which incorporates a desired trait into existing elite germplasm. This preserves the performance of the germplasm, and adds the benefit of the new trait. The Trait Conversion Accelerator provides the capabilities needed to optimize the process. 

Trevor Hohls, global head of seeds product development for Syngenta, says the Trait Conversion Accelerator will accommodate the majority of Syngenta’s North American corn trait conversion work, which had been done in open field or semi-controlled environments. 

Syngenta’s Agrisure traits portfolio is the broadest collection of trait technology in the industry. The company spends more than $1.3 billion per year on research and development, and that will continue. 

Why Nampa?

Idaho’s Treasure Valley – in which Nampa sits – features ideal humidity and days of sunlight for the Trait Conversion Accelerator. Nampa offers sustainable energy and water supplies and has access to a highly skilled workforce. 

Syngenta already has a vegetable research and development presence and a global distribution facility in Nampa. 

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