Seed World

Industry News – January 2013


Industry News is geared to seed professionals and delivers the people, industry, business and product news you need to know. Submissions are welcome. Email us at·

People News

Syngenta has appointed Michel Demaré as the company’s new chairman of the board with effect from the next annual general meeting on April 23, 2013. Demaré will succeed Martin Taylor, who will retire from the board on that date. “Since his election as a director earlier this year, he has already made a significant contribution to Syngenta. His extensive international business experience makes him exceptionally well qualified for the position. I look forward to working with him in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition,” says Taylor.

Commissioner John Dalli has resigned as a member of the European Commission. The president of the commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has appointed vice president Maros Sefcovic to take over Dalli’s portfolio on an interim basis until a new commissioner of Maltese nationality is appointed in accordance of the treaty on the functioning of the European Union.

Liam Condon has been appointed chairman of the executive committee of the Bayer CropScience subgroup and chairman of the board of management of Bayer CropScience. Condon has been managing director of Bayer Vital GmbH, Leverkusen, and head of Bayer Pharma’s business in Germany since January 2010. Bayer Vital is the business operations company for the Bayer HealthCare subgroup in Germany.

Cargill has announced that Sergio Rial, its chief financial officer has resigned his post with the company. Cargill president and chief operating officer David MacLennan will serve as interim CFO until the Cargill board of directors elects a successor. MacLennan joined Cargill in 1991 and has held management positions within the financial, risk management, energy and animal protein businesses. He previously served as Cargill’s CFO from 2008 to 2011. While in the interim role, MacLennan will continue as the company’s president and COO.

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants has appointed a new president and vice president. Kitisri Sukhapinda, attorney advisor in the office of policy and external affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and previous vice president, has been named as the new UPOV president. Luis Salaices, head of the variety register unit, Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is the new UPOV vice president.

S&W Seed Company has hired Dan Gardner as its new vice president of seed breeding and genetics. Gardner joins S&W from a leadership position in breeding and international sales at Dairyland Seed Co., where he served for 18 years. Gardner will be intimately involved with the design and implementation of the company’s plant breeding activities.

Becker Underwood has added two new territory managers, Doug Albert and Brady Reynolds, to its team. Albert and Reynolds will complement the southern regional sales team. Albert will manage Becker Underwood’s mid-Atlantic states, and brings 20 years of sales and marketing experience to the role. Reynolds will cover Florida, Georgia and Alabama, and has more than a decade of sales experience in the agriculture and seed industries. The two are replacing Phil Shelley and Breann Hammann, who have moved to new roles as strategic account managers within Becker Underwood.

Novozymes BioAg has announced that Charlie Hampton has joined the company as North American marketing manager. Hampton will be responsible for the overall marketing direction for Novozymes BioAg and its products for both the United States and Canada. Hampton is a veteran agri-marketer with more than 24 years of experience with Syngenta and its legacy companies, Ciba-Geigy and Novartis.

Valent BioSciences Corp. has hired Salman Mir as vice president of global marketing and business management. In his new role, Mir will assume leadership of the company’s global marketing and business management activities in the areas of agriculture, public health and forestry. Mir has held a number of key positions with major global crop protection companies.

Golden Acres Genetics has announced the return of Clarence Hennig as director of operations. Hennig served as Golden Acres’ operations manager from May 2007 until January 2011, when he returned to a previous career in banking.

Advanta US has named Brannon Byers as global crop supply chain manager for sorghum for parent company Advanta. Byers will work with Advanta sorghum operations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Ukraine and the United States to coordinate production. Byers will be responsible for new and existing hybrid seed production, inventory management for hybrid and parent seed, production diversification, and global logistics.

Matt Hutcheson, certified crop advisor, has been promoted to the position of product manager for Seed Consultants Inc. Hutcheson will be responsible for coordinating the efforts of Seed Consultants’ agronomy staff, while working with SCI management to select hybrids and varieties for the company’s unique sales area. In addition, Hutcheson will assist in organizing agronomic support and training for the company’s personnel and customers.

Product News

Loveland Products has announced two new seed treatments under the Dyna-Start Seed Treatment brand. Dyna-Start Max will be offered in 2013 for soybeans and peanuts. Both are liquid formulations of bradyrhizobia inoculant plus LCO Promoter Technology. Dyna-Start Max Soybeans come in two pack sizes for commercial treaters and on-farm use. This technology provides enhanced root systems for improved nutrient and water uptake, earlier and increased nodule development for improved nitrogen fixation, and better vigor, stand and emergence. Dyna-Start Max Peanuts is designed for in-furrow use and provides advanced emergence, producing healthier, faster-developing plants.

Syngenta has introduced 70 new corn hybrids for the 2013 planting season. The offering includes 27 hybrids containing genetics that are new to the market. Data from 3,988 Syngenta trials indicates that hybrids with the new genetics out-yielded competitive hybrids by 4.9 bushels per acre. Six of the new hybrids feature Agrisure Artesian technology, which offers season-long drought tolerance. Also available are hybrids containing the Agrisure Viptera 3220 E-Z Refuge trait stack and the Agrisure 3122 E-Z Refuge trait stack. Other new hybrids incorporate the Agrisure 3000 GT triple stack, the only triple stack with no history of yield drag; the Agrisure GT trait, which provides tolerance to glyphosate-based herbicides; and the Agrisure Viptera 3111 trait stack, which provides multi-pest control of 14 above- and below-ground pests as well as glyphosate and glufosinate tolerance.

Business News

Arcadia Biosciences Inc., the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the U.S. Agency for International Development have signed an agreement to develop heat-tolerant wheat varieties using a range of classical breeding and modern molecular biology tools. Under the terms of the agreement, CIMMYT will receive non-exclusive rights in developing countries to Arcadia’s heat-tolerance technology developed under this agreement, and Arcadia will retain exclusive commercial rights in the developed world. Arcadia will lead the program under a $3.8-million grant from USAID. Heat-tolerant varieties from the program will allow wheat farmers in developed and developing countries to maintain yields and satisfy increasing demand for this key food grain.

Keygene N.V. and Floragenex Inc. have entered into a license agreement in sequence-based genotyping. The agreement includes dismissal of the patent infringement lawsuit filed by KeyGene in 2011 against Floragenex. Under terms of the agreement, Floragenex will obtain a non-exclusive royalty bearing l
icense to KeyGene’s intellectual property. Floragenex will continue to apply the restriction-site associated DNA method in specified fields, including non-commercial and academic research in all species. “This agreement demonstrates KeyGene’s leading position in this field and allows us to focus on licensing opportunities in the sequence-based breeding market,” says Arjen van Tunen, CEO of KeyGene.

Novozymes and Syngenta have entered an exclusive global marketing and distribution agreement on the microbial-based biofungicide Taegro, a natural solution with multiple modes of action used to combat fungal diseases across various crops. Under the terms of the agreement, Novozymes and Syngenta will share the task of bringing Taegro to market. Syngenta will be responsible for sales, marketing and distribution, while Novozymes will be responsible for production and registration.

Monsanto Company and Biosynthetic Technologies LLC have announced license and supply agreements that expand the market opportunity for Vistive Gold soybean growers. The collaboration creates an opportunity for use of Monsanto’s Vistive Gold soybean oil in production of biosynthetic lubricant oils. “This is an important collaboration as we move forward with other global partners to launch the first lines of domestically-sourced, renewable biosynthetic lubricants. High-oleic soybean oils are a cost-competitive alternative and working with Monsanto is a natural fit,” says Allen Barbieri, CEO of Biosynthetic Technologies.

DuPont and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have announced the renewal for another five years of a research collaboration which began in 2007. This multi-million dollar collaboration supports cutting-edge plant biology research focused on meeting growing food demands worldwide. CSHL and Pioneer are investing in discovery research that tackles some of the most fundamental aspects of plant biology. The renewal of the collaboration agreement will continue the expansion of knowledge about the genetic basis of fundamental plant processes controlling growth, development and yield.

Syngenta is acquiring Sunfield Seeds, a U.S.-based provider of sunflower seeds production and processing services to more than 30 countries. The acquisition represents an important step in the implementation of Syngenta’s sunflower strategy by strengthening supply chain capabilities to enable future growth. “Sunfield is already one of our strategic suppliers and we are pleased that its people and operations will now become part of Syngenta. Sunfield’s grower network as well as its modern processing facilities and experienced management team will complement our product range and global market strength,” says Davor Pisk, chief operating officer of Syngenta.

Industry News

Enza Zaden has announced that its e-licensing platform is now live, offering researchers and breeders worldwide access to Enza Zaden inventions online. This platform makes its intellectual property portfolio transparent and accessible to all parties. “We are a highly innovative breeding company that spends more than 30 percent of our annual turnover on research and development. We therefore support adequate protection of our inventions through both plant breeders’ rights and patent rights. Nonetheless, we’d like to make them accessible to other researchers and breeders to ensure further innovation,” says Jaap Mazereeuw, CEO of Enza Zaden.

Evogene Ltd., a developer of improved plant traits for the food, feed and biofuel industries, has launched its Phenomix platform. The new platform utilizes advanced proprietary technologies for the collection, storage and integrated analysis of vast amounts of phenotypic data directly from the field. Through the use of Phenomix, Evogene researchers can evaluate crop behavior in environments closely resembling growth conditions existing in commercial agriculture. The addition of the Phenomix data is anticipated to significantly enhance the company’s gene discovery capabilities, allowing even more precise prediction of the effect and level of compatibility of candidate genes under multiple field conditions.