Seed World

Giant Numbers


dec13_giant_1Approximate number of employees now working for the rapidly-growing AgReliant Genetics. “We were the eighth largest [seed corn company] in the United States when we started in 2000, and now we’re No. 3, so we’ve had a lot of growth. We’ve increased our sales three-fold in corn and we’ve taken employees from 300 to over 900. We’re on a rapid growth move and we just want to continue that growth. With our talented and committed team, we want to continue our momentum.”—Craig Newman, president and CEO, AgReliant Genetics
dec13_giant_2Number of leaves in Rijk Zwaan’s popular new lettuce variety. “We are focusing on the development of new varieties to develop attractive, easy-to-use, good tasting, good looking varieties so that vegetables are becoming a kind of lifestyle; our new varieties should be ‘sexier.’ For instance, at Rijk Zwaan we have developed Salanova, which has a rosette of around 150 to 200 leaves that are all the same size, and you just have to take out a small piece of the curd and then you have 150 to 200 leaves which are crunchy, tasty, and you can keep longer. These are the kind of products we need to develop more of in our industry, especially for convenience—everything should be easy and fast to use, and that’s what we have to develop more of.”—Anton van Doornmalen, co-owner, Rijk Zwaan
dec13_giant_3Percent yield impact that Karsten Neuffer, global head of Seedcare for Syngenta, says the company’s new seed treatment nematicide, Clariva, brings to soybean growers. “It’s great because it gives to farmers a solution to one of the major unsolved problems, which is cyst nematode,” he says. “Nematodes cause more than $1 billion of losses in U.S. soybean farming. Clariva is actually a biological seed treatment and probably the first that has a real proven benefit or impact on nematodes and, as a result, it creates a yield impact of, in many cases, five percent.”
dec13_giant_4Number of platforms that Matthias Haug, head of SeedGrowth for Bayer CropScience, says the new brand is comprised of. “At Bayer CropScience we are proud to have a fully integrated on-seed application platform. Bayer SeedGrowth consists of four integrated areas of competencies,” he says. “First of all, we talk about our portfolio—our insecticides and fungicides based on chemical and biological modes of action. The second pillar is our coating. We have customized formulation and coating technology. The third one is equipment. We have our own company, Gustafson, which is delivering modern seed treatment application machinery. The fourth pillar is our service. We are doing testing, training and technical support for farmers, and our 10 SeedGrowth centers worldwide are proving our global footprint.”
dec13_giant_5Percent of the time that Golden Acres Genetics president, Lou Buice, says the company focuses on the needs of independent farmers. “We really set ourselves apart because we spend 100 percent of our time on what some of the larger companies probably consider a niche market, and so we really don’t limit options,” says Buice. “We provide a number of different trait platforms and genetic platforms to our customers, and I think they appreciate that freedom of choice and that’s what we truly try and offer them. We really feel like we’re there and we’re in business to serve that grower, because we’re trying to preserve the values and traditions and the independence that the family farmer has in our market footprint.”
dec13_giant_6Number of research stations in the United States owned by AgReliant Genetics and its parent companies, Limagrain and KWS. “There is a lot of collaboration between KWS, Limagrain, and AgReliant research; worldwide there are over 30 research stations. In the United States there are 11 research stations. Therefore, there’s an exchange of material and testing all over the world; it’s definitely an active collaboration between the parent companies and us, which increases the efforts three times for each of the companies which would have been individual.”—Craig Newman, president and CEO, AgReliant Genetics
dec13_giant_7Number of local African people employed by Rijk Zwann’s professional breeding company in Tanzania. “We set up a professional breeding company in order to improve the local varieties. You can make huge improvements for the local growers [and] increase the income of the small farmers, which are many times women who are also feeding their own family. We have started a professional breeding company in Tanzania … where now more than 80 people are working, all Africans, and of course they are managed and guided by our specialists.”—Anton van Doornmalen, co-owner, Rijk Zwaan