Seed World

Syngenta Breaks Ground on Trait Conversion Accelerator

Syngenta has broken ground on a Trait Conversion Accelerator at its Nampa, Idaho, research and development and seed production facility. Construction of the $30 million site enhancement is expected to be completed in 2019.

The Nampa site will accommodate the majority of Syngenta’s North American corn trait conversion work previously done in open field or semi-controlled environments. It will provide a reliable growing environment to conduct marker-assisted backcrossing and version generation, as well as deliver the introgression of market-leading traits into Syngenta’s most advanced corn germplasm.

“Put simply, the Trait Conversion Accelerator will enable Syngenta to more quickly, reliably and efficiently deliver corn hybrids with its latest trait packages to market,” says Ciriaco Franks, Nampa site manager for Syngenta. “This investment, which reinforces Syngenta’s commitment to a research and development presence in the region and the jobs located here, will result in state-of-the-art greenhouses and laboratories to help shorten product development life cycles.”

According to Dirk Benson, head, seed development, product selection at Syngenta, the Nampa site was chosen for this investment in trait conversion because it offers an excellent combination of climatic factors (e.g., solar radiation, heating and cooling, etc.) as well as access to a highly skilled workforce.

“At Syngenta, our mission in research and development is to design and consistently deliver products that go beyond current limits,” Benson says. “The Nampa Trait Conversion Accelerator demonstrates Syngenta’s ongoing commitment to increased investment in genetics and traits and to rapidly deliver new products to market.”

The Nampa facility will house the capabilities and capacity to bring choice in traits to corn growers. Customers of the NK and Golden Harvest corn seed brands, as well as independent seed companies that license Syngenta technologies through Greenleaf Genetics, will benefit from faster access to more hybrids with the latest Agrisure trait technologies.

“We aspire to offer, and do offer, unique choice to the market,” says David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds and North America region director. “We have one of the largest global germplasm pools in the industry and a proprietary trait platform that is equipping growers with market-leading insect protection and enzyme capability, and weed control choice. This world-class facility will provide access to our traits paired with the latest genetics even more quickly than before.”

Syngenta invests more than $1.3 billion each year in research and development globally. The Nampa Trait Conversion Accelerator is part of an incremental investment over the next five years that includes adding significantly more resources in product breeding, product selection leads and trialing.

“Syngenta’s work is clear, to help growers be successful year after year,” Hollinrake adds. “We do this through ongoing innovation, by designing and consistently delivering products that provide greater value to our customers and channel partners.”