SYNGENTA has opened a world-class laboratory at Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales that will focus on servicing the Australian broadacre cropping market and supporting the company’s range of new technologies.
The Seedcare Institute will support the safe application of seed treatment products that protect against problem pests and diseases.
The facility is Syngenta’s 14th Seedcare Institute worldwide and is near to a $500,000 investment in the Charles Sturt University (CSU) AgriPark, established as a centre of agriculture innovation.
Syngenta has transformed the university’s old winery into state-of-the-art laboratory and storage facilities, to test the application of Seedcare’s products under Australian conditions.
The AgriPark at CSU will bring companies like Syngenta together with other agricultural innovators, fostering collaboration for the industry and unprecedented opportunity for students.
University students will have the ability to work side-by-side with staff in the assessment of these seed coatings with finely calibrated lab equipment, testing the uniformity of the treatment, adhesion quality, dust-off and flowability on-farm.
Syngenta’s Global Head of the Seedcare Institute Network, Anja Pires, said the Seedcare Institute would support its partners through tailored services.
“We will provide suitable recipe recommendations and application advice to our customers, enabling them to treat seeds professionally. This will be combined with tailored quality assessment, stewardship advice and training,” she said.
“Key target customers will include professional applicators like seed companies, seed graders and seed sheds who perform the majority of seed treatment. Good quality treated seed ultimately benefits our farmers in Australia”.
Syngenta Seedcare technical lead, Sean Roberts, Wagga Wagga, will assist not only in the development of coating recipes – often involving two or more products – but also in the diagnosis of poor product application.
“As these recipes become a lot more complicated we need to have a better understanding of how it combines together, goes onto the seed, and stays on the seed, so that when the farmer invests in these technologies, these products perform for them out in the field,” he said.
Syngenta territory head of Australasia, Paul Luxton, said the company’s decision to invest in CSU Wagga Wagga was beneficial in many ways.
“The most compelling reason for choosing Wagga Wagga was CSU’s vision for the AgriPark, which is supporting innovation in agriculture through the co-location of agri- science and agri-business companies within a strong research and development setting,” he said.
“It was also important to have the Seedcare Institute central to the broadacre market we serve. Customers having access to tailored Seedcare services means farmers have early access to great quality treated seed and this goes a long way in helping Australian farmers remain internationally competitive.”