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Syngenta: Providing Innovative, Differentiated and Integrated Solutions for Wheat Cropqrcode

Oct. 12, 2023

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Oct. 12, 2023


Syngenta AG
Switzerland  Switzerland

ADEPIDYN technology
Target:Fusarium,Powdery mildew,Botrytis spp,Septoria spp
Company:Syngenta AG
SOLATENOL technology
Company:Syngenta AG
Prosulfocarb 800 g/L

As a leading agricultural company, Syngenta has a long history of innovation and in driving new solutions for wheat crops. It is delivering cutting-edge crop protection solutions that take into account wheat’s sensitivity and vulnerability to a wide range of pests, diseases and weeds, while developing new conventional wheat varieties that offer higher yield potential, more resilient yields and improved agronomics for farmers. 

In a broad-ranging interview with experts from across the Syngenta Group, these experts shared their views on the overview of wheat planting worldwide, the challenges farmers face, and the innovations they’ve developed that are transforming the farming of wheat around the world. 


Could you please introduce the overview of wheat planting worldwide? What are the major factors affecting its planting area, yields and quality? 

Wheat is one of the most widely cultivated and important cereal crops worldwide. It is grown in various regions globally, with major wheat-producing areas including China, India, the United States, the EU, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, and Canada. 

According to data provided by the USDA and the FAO / OECD, wheat is today planted on about 220Mha globally. 

Since the early 2000s, 

  • Wheat demand has increased >35% to about 785 million tons. Of this, approximately 80% is used for food, and the remaining as animal feed. This demand increase reflects population growth, wheat’s importance as a staple food and shifts in dietary patterns. 

  • Wheat production has increased 35% to almost 790 million tons today. 

  • Yields have improved 30% to reach 3.52 t/ha on average today.

  • The land used for this wheat production has – in comparison – marginally increased 5%.

Global wheat production is influenced by natural, market and technological factors that affect its planting area, yields, and quality. These include:

  • Climate and Environmental Conditions: Wheat cultivation requires specific climatic conditions. It thrives in temperate regions with cool winters and mild summers. Adequate rainfall or irrigation is crucial for its growth. For example, a good snow cover over winter helps during dormancy and will bring the right level of moisture to the crop. Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, or heatwaves can significantly impact wheat production. Environmental conditions during the growing season will impact the quality of the wheat, including protein levels, Hagberg falling number (HFN) and specific weight. 

  • Soil Quality: Wheat prefers well-drained soils with good fertility. The soil's availability of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is crucial for optimal growth and yield. Soil pH levels, organic matter content, and soil structure also affect wheat planting and productivity.

  • Weeds, Pests, and Diseases: Various species can significantly impact wheat production. Common pests include aphids, flies, and wireworms, while diseases like rust, powdery mildew, and Fusarium can cause yield losses. Effective seed treatment and crop protection management practices are essential to maintain healthy crops.

  • Technology and Farming Practices: Adopting modern agricultural technologies and practices can significantly influence wheat yields. The use of improved seed varieties, precision farming techniques, mechanization, crop rotations, and efficient irrigation systems can enhance productivity. 

  • Market Demand and Economics: The wheat demand and market price significantly determine the planting area. Farmers consider market conditions, price fluctuations, and profitability while deciding the extent of wheat cultivation – the stocks-to-use ratio is a convenient measure of supply and demand interrelationships of commodities. Government policies, subsidies, and trade regulations also impact wheat production.

  • Research and Development: Continuous research and development efforts in breeding new wheat varieties, improving agronomic practices, and developing disease-resistant strains contribute to increased yields and better quality. Scientific advancements in crop genetics, biotechnology, and crop protection methods significantly impact wheat planting and production.

  • Global Trade and Supply Chain: Wheat is a globally traded commodity, and international trade patterns influence planting decisions. Export and import policies, trade agreements, transportation infrastructure, and market dynamics affect the profitability and competitiveness of wheat production in different regions.

Continuous monitoring, research, and adaptation to changing conditions are crucial for sustainable wheat production to meet the growing global demand for this staple crop.


What solutions against diseases, insects and weeds for wheat were launched by your company? (Including the synthetic agrochemical, seed treatment etc.) 

As a leading agricultural company, Syngenta has a long history of innovation and continues to launch new solutions for wheat crops. 

Syngenta's ADEPIDYN® technology was initially launched in Argentina in 2016 as a revolutionary solution for disease control. Since then, it has been registered in over 50 countries and is now used on more than 100 different crops including wheat. ADEPIDYN® technology provides outstanding control of fusarium on wheat and is the only carboxamide registered to control this disease on wheat crops.   When applied to wheat for fusarium control it protects the plant from a complex of ear diseases resulting in clean golden ears of wheat producing quality grains and protecting the plant's yield potential. Cathy Wei, Global Head Disease Control, Syngenta Crop Protection, says: ″ADEPIDYN® technology is particularly beneficial to growers globally, especially in countries like Canada and China, where fusarium leads to important yield losses due to the production of small and low-quality grains.″


ADEPIDYN® technology is not only effective in controlling fusarium, but it also has a broad-spectrum impact, with potent activity against leaf spots, making it an ideal solution for farmers against crucial wheat diseases. By managing leaf spots like Septoria tritici, this technology keeps wheat plants cleaner and greener, enabling them to reach their full yield potential. This results in the production of high-quality wheat, which can achieve higher prices for growers.

Wheat can also be infected by several other diseases, including rusts, all with disastrous consequences on grain filling and overall yield.  Fortunately, cereal growers across the globe have access to the powerful and consistent control provided by SOLATENOL® technology.  With its high potency and long-lasting activity against major diseases, growers using SOLATENOL® technology-based products can provide complete leaf protection helping to secure their investment.

In addition, Proven AMISTAR® Technology remains one of the broadest spectrum active ingredients in the world. Despite resistance to several pathogens, it continues to provide greening and yield benefits in many crops which is why it remains a key active ingredient in the programs of many growers around the world.

For growers not willing to compromise the grass weed control in their cereal crops, BOXER® and AXIAL® herbicides provide market-leading grass weed control. Both products have excellent crop safety in wheat and barley and deliver effective grass weed control.  BOXER® is used for both pre and early postemergence, while AXIAL® is positioned as a post-emergent solution with a wide application window. They have several benefits such as crop safety and effective weed control, combined with the flexibility to mix with several broadleaf herbicides for comprehensive weed control in a single pass. In addition, both products are available in a wide range of pack sizes to suit every grower’s needs. Kristel Burgemeister, Global Head Weed Control, Syngenta Crop Protection, says: ″Our cereal herbicide portfolio including BOXER®, AXIAL®, and our array of mixture products are important tools to help growers combat grass weeds and delay the onset of resistance.″

In the seed treatment space, we provide Seedcare™ solutions - some featuring our most advanced PLINAZOLIN® technology and TYMIRIUM® technology that protect seeds from diseases and pests during germination and early growth stages. This includes a wide range of brands, such as VIBRANCE®, CELEST®, DIVIDEND®, and VICTRATO® for disease control, and CRUISER® and EQUENTO® for insect control, safeguarding the young plants. ″VICTRATO® has an easy-to-use formulation that provides consistent performance against nematodes and Fusarium species such as crown rot, without adverse effects to crop or soil health, giving farmers the freedom to maximize their yields without having to compromise on sustainability,″ says Jonathan Brown, Global Head of Syngenta Seedcare.

Beyond conventional chemistry, Syngenta Seedcare™ is preparing a pipeline that also includes biocontrol products to address soil borne diseases more focused on the wheat market in EU-27.  

The seed treatment business does not stay limited to the conventional control in wheat, this year Syngenta Seedcare™ launched NUELLO™ iN in United Kingdom, a microbial seed treatment to boost wheat yields with reduced fertilizer use, it is in the plans to expand registration in multiple countries in Europe, pending regulatory approval.  

At Syngenta, we develop and continuously breed and select for fusarium head blight tolerance/resistant lines. Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) and Soil borne mosaic virus (SBMV) are also high priority for our wheat breeders as well as rust resistance/tolerance - particularly stripe rust. We are also focused on developing lines with good end-use quality to meet the needs and requirements of processors and consumers. Our wheat breeders also routinely screen for new genetic sources of disease resistance for Septoria, Yellow Rust, Leaf Rust, Mildew, Fusarium, Eyespot. Breeding for resistance to Orange Blossom Midge is important for grain quality at harvest.


Compared with other field crops, what are the challenges and countermeasures to develop above solutions? Could you highlight some innovation formulation technologies?

Developing crop protection solutions specifically for wheat crops presents unique challenges compared to other field crops. Some of these challenges include:

  • Wheat sensitivity: Wheat plants can be sensitive to specific molecules, making it crucial to develop formulations that effectively control pests and diseases while neutralizing any negative impact on the crop itself.

  • Wide range of pests, diseases, and weeds: Wheat is susceptible to many pests and diseases, including insects, fungi, and weeds. Developing solutions through breeding and agronomic management practices that effectively target and control these diverse threats requires a comprehensive understanding of the specific pests and diseases affecting wheat crops.

  • Environmental considerations: Crop protection use in wheat farming must adhere to strict environmental regulations. Developing solutions that have minimal impact on non-target organisms, water sources, and the overall ecosystem is mandatory.

One example of overcoming these challenges is the combination of molecules and different modes of action: formulating multiple active ingredients into a single product can provide broad-spectrum control against multiple pests and diseases. Combination products can enhance efficacy, reduce the number of applications, and manage resistance development.

Developing an active ingredient that is both safe for crops and highly efficient is a significant challenge. However, ADEPIDYN® technology is an innovative solution that addresses this issue. It binds firmly to the plant surface and quickly penetrates the leaf surface, creating a reservoir of active ingredient in the waxy layer of the plant tissue. This allows for even distribution and long-lasting protection as the plant grows. Moreover, it has excellent rainfastness due to its exceptional spray retention on the leaf surface and rapid uptake into the wax layer, providing farmers with a more extensive application window.

The AXIAL® formulation has been optimized to work in any number of field conditions, storage environments, and with many different water types.  Combining the latest anti-foam, adjuvants, and suspension agents, AXIAL® will remain potent after two to three years of storage and will still be efficacious after sitting in a grower’s spray tank overnight.  The result of this continuous formulation development is a product that growers have trusted to protect their wheat and barley for over 15 years. 


What new biological products were launched by Syngenta in 2022/2023?  

Of our recent biostimulant launches, the most impactful new product introductions in Europe, Africa & the Middle East (EAME) have been VIXERAN®, our solution for increasing nutrient use efficiency, and QUANTIS™, which increases return on investment under heat and drought conditions in wheat. In the Americas, TALETE™, our biostimulant for water use efficiency, has been launched in Brazil, QUANTIS™ has been introduced in Paraguay, ISABION® launched in Mexico, and STIMPLEX® launched in Chile. Chile has also seen the launch of RETROSAL™, that acts by increasing plant growth in saline soils, as well as two solutions for soil health: VIVA™ and the mycorrhiza-based YEGUN® NATIVA. 

On the biocontrol front, the most important launches for 2022 have been ACTILEAF®/ROMEO®, CLAVITUS®, BEMOTIUS® and ARBIOGY® in Italy, as well as our pheromone solution EXPLOYO™ Vit in France and TAEGRO® for powdery mildew in Hungary and Croatia. In LATAM, we launched our bionematicide CERTANO™ in Brazil, COSTAR WG® in Mexico and BOTANIGARD® in Chile.

Syngenta Seedcare™ has been building a strong and complete platform of biological products. Among several local, country launches, the most remarkable achievements in 2022 and 2023 were the introduction of ARVATICO® in Brazil, the new bionematicide that has been having tremendous acceptance from local market. In the biostimulant space EPIVIO™ Energy, the tailor-made formulation developed exclusively for seed treatment is now helping farmers in more than 30 countries to establish their crops with more vigorous and well-developed crops, better copying with abiotic stress damage. 

And in the segment of crop nutrition, the collaboration with RIZOBACTER has enabled Syngenta Seedcare™ to provide solutions related to nitrogen fixation and phosphorous solubilization applied on the seed, with outstanding product quality and performance across the five continents, from smallholders in African countries to high-technology farmers in North America.



What wheat seeds & traits were launched in your company? 

″Wheat is an incredible species with a genome that is more than 5x larger than the human genome, 8x larger than corn and 40x larger than rice. It is therefore very exciting to consider the potential to unlock the next phase of improved wheat yields and a more efficient, resilient, and sustainably produced crop that uses less nitrogen, water, and other crop inputs,″ stated Robert Hiles, EAME (Europe Africa Middle East) Cereals Strategy & Portfolio Lead, Syngenta Seeds. ″While the desire for non-GMO wheat for human food production has limited investment to bring GMO trait solutions to wheat compared to other crops like corn and soybeans, we see, at present, growing acceptance for gene-edited crops, which sets a good foundation to expedite trait discovery to combat biotic and abiotic stresses.  Whilst developing our hybrid wheat portfolio, Syngenta continues to introduce new conventional wheat varieties that deliver higher yield potential, more resilient yields, and improved agronomics for our farmers alongside improved quality profiles as required by end-users. 

″At Syngenta, our wheat breeders and product placement scientist are routinely screening for new genetic sources for yield and disease.  Focusing on resistances to improve fusarium head blight tolerance/resistant lines, Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV), and rust resistance/tolerance - particularly stripe rust. We are also focused on developing lines with good end-use quality to meet the needs and acceptance requirements of processors and consumers,″ said Jon Rich, NA (North America) Cereals Operations Head, Syngenta Seeds. ″While we launch hybrid wheat in North America we continue to evaluate improved crop use efficiencies as it relates to fertilizer use, water use, and reduced seed treatment applications, to create a more sustainable choice for farmers now and into the future.″


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