Seed World

Delivering Technology, Genetics and Value, NK Unveils New Corn and Soybeans

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Syngenta announced the addition of 17 new corn hybrids and 68 new soybean varieties to the NK Seeds portfolio. Available for the 2020 growing season from NK retailers, the new products represent the latest in technology, genetics and value to help farmers maximize their return on investment potential.

The announcement comes as Syngenta marks the NK brand’s 135th anniversary with a refined farmer-focused brand mission, refreshed look and feel, and updated

Since its establishment in 1884, NK and its legacy companies have been at the forefront of many of the seed industry’s most impactful innovations. Of today’s operating seed companies, NK (then known as Northrup King) was the first to sell hybrid seed corn. It went on to become one of the first to create a formal seed research program, the first private company to develop a soybean variety and the first to market Bt seed corn.

“That spirit of innovation is alive and well in today’s NK,” says Quinn Showalter, NK head of sales. “As long as the challenges and expectations put on farmers keep getting more complex, we’ll be looking for new and improved ways to help them get the most value from their entire operations.”

Today, NK breeders leverage the award-winning research and development capabilities of Syngenta to deliver cutting-edge corn and soybean seed technology. For example, innovative techniques like state-of-the-art trait conversion have significantly shortened the breeding process, and with a $30 million trait conversion accelerator preparing to open later this year, farmers can expect even more advancements.

Genetic diversity

Many of the new hybrids and varieties were developed from Syngenta’s own germplasm pool, which the company has grown into one of the industry’s largest and most diverse. The breadth of those genetics has enabled NK breeders to develop a portfolio of corn and soybeans as varied as the environmental and agronomic conditions found on U.S. farms, protecting farmers’ ROI potential from ever-changing weather and pest challenges.

It has also led to a near decade of unmatched genetic gain in corn, or put another way, NK corn is more competitive than ever. In 2018, NK hybrids secured more than 100 top 10 finishes across 14 states in trials conducted by Farmers’ Independent Research of Seed Technologies (FIRST), including 28 top-three appearances.1 The new products for 2020, meanwhile, outyielded DeKalb and Pioneer hybrids by 4.9 bu/A and 1.2 bu/A, respectively, in prelaunch trials.2

“What growers of NK corn are finding is that their results just keep getting better,” says Joe Bollman, NK corn product manager. “When you combine our genetic performance with cutting-edge traits like Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade for industry-leading above- and below-ground insect control, there’s a lot for farmers to like about adding NK to their portfolios.”

In soybeans, the combination of leading traits like Roundup Ready 2 Xtend and high-yielding genetics provides a desirable choice for farmers looking to diversify their portfolios. The 2020 portfolio will also include additional new trait options Enlist E3 and LibertyLink GT27.

“NK soybeans have a well-established and well-earned reputation of helping farmers maximize yield and ROI potential,” says Scott Erickson, NK soybean product manager. “By further growing our genetic and trait options for the 2020 growing season, they can expect even more success.”

Enhanced value

The NK commitment to maximizing farmers’ ROI potential extends beyond bushels per acre.

“We know farmers are required to make many important purchase and investment decisions as they try to operate at a profit, and seed is just one of those,” Showalter says. “For that reason, we continually strive to find new and unique ways to support their bottom lines.”

It’s why NK developed an artificial intelligence-driven seed selector tool that evaluates years of environmental and performance data to help retailers and farmers identify the best hybrids for their individual fields. It’s also why NK retailers in select locations sell Enogen corn, unique hybrids that add benefits for farmers marketing grain to ethanol plants or producing grain or silage for livestock feed. Four new Enogen hybrids will be available for the 2020 growing season.

Growers of NK can find additional value from the brand’s participation in the Ram AgPack initiative, offering a seed price discount to eligible buyers of Ram trucks, as well as from competitive financing like a 0 percent offer for the 2019 growing season.

“At the end of the day, our priority is to give farmers a better seed experience,” Showalter says. “Our new NK hybrids and varieties are just the beginning.”