BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (DTN) -- Syngenta has announced it will revise its seed corn branding for the 2014 planting season. Beginning with fall seed corn sales, the company's dealer network will focus on Golden Harvest hybrids only. The Garst brand will be discontinued and NK Brand hybrids will be available only through retailers such as farm cooperatives.
Colin Steen, head of the dealer channel commercial unit for Syngenta in North America, told DTN in a phone interview that the consolidation of brands is the next step in the evolution of integrating the company's businesses.
Seed dealers also get a fresh new look and name. "The sign at the end of the lane will now read 'Syngenta Seed Advisors'," Steen said. He noted that this name change recognizes the fact that dealers must be more than seed salesmen as trait, seed treatment and crop protection options have multiplied. "A Syngenta Seed Advisor will provide broad agronomic expertise combined with local knowledge to help growers," he said. "They have the ability to talk about more than seed."
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Soybeans will continue to be marketed and sold by Syngenta Seed Advisors and ag retailers under the NK Brand. In addition, Syngenta Seed Advisors will continue to sell alfalfa, sugarbeets, sunflowers and wheat seed depending on their local needs.
The new, single corn brand for the dealer channel streamlines logistics, from packaging and ordering through inventory and delivery. However, growers will notice that a new logo and numbering system for Golden Harvest hybrids will be in place for summer 2013 trials and the 2014 planting season. The new numbers will recognize relative maturities and incorporate elements of the former Garst numbering system for existing hybrids, while also aligning with many of the newer Golden Harvest hybrids. Syngenta will provide an easy-to-use conversion tool for growers who have planted Garst and Golden Harvest corn to match new brand numbers with the former ones.
Steen admitted the decision to go with a new, single corn brand for dealers was not an easy one. Both Garst and Golden Harvest brands have rich histories. "There wasn't one specific reason we chose the Golden Harvest brand," Steen said. "Perhaps more than anything it was that the words Golden Harvest mean something. It really is a golden harvest."
Syngenta as a seed and chemical company began in 2004, but its lineage can be traced back to 1758. Seed brands consolidated into the company in the past include Ciba-Geigy, Funk Bros. Seed Company and ICI Seeds.
Pam Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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