According to results of a Syngenta survey released Tuesday, a majority of growers and other agricultural professionals turn to online sources first for general information about the agriculture industry, and more than half of them use mobile or handheld devices 10 or more times per workday.
More than 300 readers of Thrive, the company's production-focused magazine and website, responded to questions about their online habits.
Anthony Transou, Internet marketing manager at Syngenta, says like other industries, U.S. agriculture is embracing digital communications—from social media campaigns and blogs to precision farming and recordkeeping.
"Digital platforms give users a way to share and learn from others in the agricultural industry, whether they are around the corner in their communities or across the globe," he said.
Syngenta has been successful with the Know More, Grow More agronomy blog, which features tips and local news updates from Syngenta agronomic service representatives. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels are also convenient ways for growers to interact with Syngenta via questions, comments, contests and general discussions.
Syngenta is also updating the company's flagship Website, www.farmassist.com. Until 2012, FarmAssist users needed a desktop computer for the site's features to work properly, but the launch of a mobile version of the website has helped cellphone and tablet users access the same Website capabilities.
Looking forward, Syngenta aims to include more interactive localized content, which is a process of natural progression with the increasing use of mobile technology in agriculture. Transou said he envisions being able to send growers and other users pest alerts, weather information, market prices and yield data specifically targeted to their local areas.
The nature of digital communications also allows Syngenta to gather and analyze customer feedback. The Thrive online survey is a good example of how the team uses feedback to influence content creation, the company said.