Dave Treinen Head, GreenLeaf Genetics

As margins remain a challenge for many corn and soybean growers, is your seed genetics and traits product portfolio keeping ahead of your customer needs to deliver the product performance, traits and ROI they are seeking?

It’s no secret that more farmers are buying from independent seed companies, as their collective corn market share has surpassed 20 percent, up from 14 percent five years ago. Farmers desire more local expertise to match products for their local environments, more specific genetic packages, and strong, focused support from their seed supplier. 

I joined Syngenta almost two years ago, bringing a background steeped in independent seed company experience to help grow the GreenLeaf Genetics business. We have continued to make great strides in expanding genetic and product differentiation, along with greater choice for independent licensees to diversify their corn and soybean business. 

Building relationships for success

In 2018, we achieved record royalty sales, based on our core tenants of providing licensees performance, choice and more genetic flexibility than our competitors. Our inbred-based open architecture helps customers create more unique offerings tailored for their growers.

As farmers adapt and change, we know independent seed companies that adapt to meet marketplace changes will be in the best position to capitalize on coming trends.

Our experienced team at Greenleaf Genetics works closely with independent seed companies to analyze their portfolio and business plan. There are no cookie-cutter plans, only customized solutions so each company can optimize a genetically-diverse product portfolio that drives better ROI for customers.

Regarding corn genetics, we offer a wide and diverse set of germplasm, allowing seed companies to build a more diverse seed portfolio. The Syngenta corn genetic performance continues to broaden and deepen, coupled with our unmatched Agrisure traits portfolio (Viptera, Duracade and Artesian). Whether a company wants traits that perform against above or below ground pests, or traits that help reduce risk during drought, we offer excellent choices to diversify a corn seed portfolio.

In soybeans, we continue to deliver product performance that is second to none. Our unique and proprietary genetics, based on a conventional breeding platform, give us ultimate flexibility to integrate a variety of trait technology that the marketplace demands, now and in the future. We’re currently running parallel introgression of various traits–from RR2Xtend and beyond–to deliver flexibility to our genetics customers.

Investing for growth

From a broader Syngenta perspective, we’re continuing to make investments to grow our U.S. seed business, and Greenleaf Genetics is a large component of that growth. 

Along with our technology collaborations, we’re also investing in a $30 million Trait Conversion Accelerator R&D and seed production facility in Nampa, Idaho. This will give us consistent, reliable and efficient trait introgression, delivering the latest trait packages faster to market.

Further proof of growth commitment by our board of directors and leadership is the acquisition of Nidera Seeds, a large South American seed company with great corn and soybean germplasm, strong R&D pipeline and big footprint that will enhance Syngenta’s ability to bring more value to customers.

What to expect

We have a great growth story to tell at GreenLeaf — one of innovation, differentiation and choice for our seed licensees. And we’re 100 percent focused to find ways to help independent seed companies achieve their goals.

Moving forward in the Traits and Licensing category, you can expect to hear from my team on a variety of topics, from managing trait resistance to our reflections on market changes and trends, and many more. We look forward to connecting with other Insiders and hearing your perspectives on these topics, too.