SWITZERLAND – International leader in agricultural innovation, Syngenta Crop Protection has made a milestone in the management of nematodes in soybean crops thanks to its latest digital solution that examines satellite images to detect plant-parasitic nematode infestations.

Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic parasites living in the soil that feed on plant roots, opening pathways to further fungal infections and threatening plant health, crop quality and yield. These harmful nematodes account for as much as USD 150 billion in crop losses globally each year.

According to the company, this demonstrates Syngenta’s dedication on providing farmers all over the world with an expanding portfolio of digital and precision agricultural solutions.

“Harmful nematodes that devastate crops are a major threat to farmers and food security, and Syngenta is using cutting-edge digital solutions to help combat these pests,” said Jeff Rowe, President Global Crop Protection.

The new digital tool analyzes satellite-captured photos of fields using a special, proprietary algorithm that enables it to spot places where plant-parasitic nematodes are heavily populated in crops and calculate the potential damages these tiny parasites could cause.

With the use of the technology, farmers can quickly modify their field management techniques, preventing production losses while also maximizing input utilization and enhancing the sustainability of their farms.

This ground-breaking innovation is the result of a multi-year partnership with Swiss AgTech company Gamaya SA, a spin-off from Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, which combined Syngenta’s agronomic and crop knowledge with its highly specialized algorithm development experience.

Syngenta is integrating this cutting-edge digital solution into its own CROPWISETM digital technology platform.

At Syngenta, we will continue to invest in machine learning and data science, to develop further breakthrough offers for farmers.

“The technology is a great addition to our CROPWISETM platform, which already digitally connects almost 200 million acres of land, and underlines our commitment to invest in and partner with providers in the AgTech space,” said Feroz Sheikh, Chief Information and Digital Officer of Syngenta Group.

The company will initially target soybean farmers in Brazil where it already provides a wide array of cutting-edge digital technologies.

Soybean is one of the most significant crops in the world due to its crucial role in food production, and Brazil produces about 35% of the world’s soybeans.

Plant-parasitic nematodes in Brazil are thought to be responsible for annual losses in soybean output of more than USD 5.4 billion.

According to estimates, Brazilian farmers lose up to 30% of their produce in places with heavy nematode infestations, a hazard that has largely gone unnoticed and is still little understood.

“We are excited to be launching this product in Brazil, and there is great potential to scale this solution to other countries and crops and transform the decision-making capabilities for growers,” Rowe commented.

The launch of Syngenta’s new digital diagnosis and mapping tool for harmful nematodes comes just as it is also debuting its next-generation nematicide and fungicide for both seed and soil uses technology, that can help farmers increase crop yield while preserving soil biodiversity and health.

The new technology known as VICTRATO contains TYMIRIUM technology, which provides long-lasting protection against all plant-parasitic nematodes and key fungal diseases across major crops, including soybeans, corn, cereals, cotton, and rice.

VICTRATO was launched at the ISF World Seed Congress in Barcelona, Spain in May.

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