Product Aims at Stress Reduction

Syngenta is developing a product that gives plants protection when trouble arrives.

Drought and heat can gang up on a crop, stressing plants until they say "uncle." However, research in the past few years showing the value of fungicides in boosting plant performance has opened the door to new ways to protect the crop in the field. During the Commodity Classic this week in Nashville, Syngenta discussed new technology they're working on bringing to the row crop market.

Invinsa technology - available from Syngenta through a partnership with AgroFresh - will be researched during the 2008 season. The technology, when applied to a crop, inhibits the crop's ability to product ethylene. It's ethylene that gets a crop to senesce, or die off, when "ripe." But stresses can ripen that crop too fast, hitting yields hard.

"Invinsa is a new tool to protect field crops from heat and drought stress," explains Jamie Eichorn, fungicide brand manager, Syngenta Crop Protection. "We're going to be working over the next several months to develop this product for market introduction."

Eichorn explains that work for 2008 will involve determining proper application rates and timing. "It's a bit early to say how we'll use it for row crop production," he says. "We know it will be a foliar application."

The U.S. Environmental Protection agency will also have to approve the product for general use. Eichorn says the product is on a fast track for development from formulations, field biology and registrations. "2008 will be a key year for us to collect as much information as possible," he says.

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