David Hollinrake: Insights Into Optimizing Seed Potential

David Hollinrake, president of Syngenta Seeds, LLC, recently appeared on AgriTalk Radio with host Chip Flory and shared his current thoughts on where the seed industry is and where it’s going. 

“We really have so many modern tools available to us,” he said. 

He detailed how traditional plant breeding in addition to using gene editing will be the tools for future progress. For example, using gene editing to protect from abiotic stress and layering a pest protection (such as a fungus) from traditional breeding. 

Hollinrake shares he sees yield gains coming on two fronts: the developments in the pipeline as well as fine-tuning agronomic management.

 “I think you're going to see the same type of rate of gain of a bushel and a half to two bushels a year on average. That’s what we're experiencing through our pipeline, and I think that's pretty similar across the industry,” he explains. 

And seed advisors and farmers can work together see gains from agronomic management. 

“We have a tool that literally has hundreds of thousands of data points in a digital tool that enables our seed advisors and farmers to look through the library of all the types of environments that specific seed was planted on, and really understand is it most suitable for theirs,” he says. “The farmer can have a whole lot more confidence that they're choosing the right product, they’re planting it at the right population, and they're managing it with the right tools.” 

Another management tool he advocates for are seed treatments. He says three things add up to suc-cess with seed. 

“It’s a combination the genetic potential that's in the seed; it's also the biotechnology traits that are protecting that seed from the invasive pests; and it’s the seed treatment that provides the seed an opportunity to get out of the ground quickly, and to resist those early pests and, and really allow the seed to fulfill its full genetic potential.” 

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