Seed World

Hybrid Barley Helps Good Growth Plan Succeed

Syngenta published the first update on progress towards meeting the six ambitious commitments in its Good Growth Plan, which was launched in 2013 to support the future sustainability of agriculture and rural communities.
Syngenta established a global network of over 3,500 reference and benchmark farms in 2014. Around 860 reference farms are using tailored protocols to raise productivity across all crops and key markets. The 2,700 benchmark farms represent a baseline for what growers are currently able to achieve.
The scale and rigor of the baseline data gathered by Syngenta will complement and enhance the broad base of information and analyses already available to the agriculture sector. All data have been validated, analyzed and audited by independent companies.
Syngenta developed a questionnaire covering farm practices including seed variety and seeding rates to evaluate the program’s success.

To take just one example, in Germany the HYVIDO hybrid barley on 90 reference farms outperformed leading varieties by 0.6 tonnes per hectare in 2014, without using more fertilizers or crop protection. Compared to national yields, this represents additional yield of 24.9 percent. This followed a 0.8 tonnes per hectare yield advantage in 2013, indicating consistently higher performance.
Compared with other leading varieties, HYVIDO has longer roots which improve water and nutrient uptake, according to Syngenta. This leads to increased stress tolerance and higher yields even in challenging situations such as drought or poorer soils.

In 2014, the company’s programs impacted over 800,000 hectares of soil and around 700,000 hectares of agricultural landscapes. Syngenta also reached 15.3 million smallholders, primarily in Asia and engaged 4.7 million people with safety training programs. It also extended its seeds supplier program to cover over half of its 50,000 supply farms globally.
An overview of progress made in 2014 for each commitment is below. For more information go to