Syngenta Takes Crop Research to a New Level

Syngenta has unveiled its new crop research facility at the company’s RTP Innovation Center, located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The $72 million, Green Globes Certified, Syngenta New Research LabAdvanced Crop Lab allows company researchers to simulate any agricultural climate and precisely measure plant inputs. This technology will help farmers grow more food with fewer resources. During a grand opening ceremony, During the grand opening, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, growers and many others toured the new plant research facility.

“Our new Advanced Crop Lab allows us to bring together components of all research where we can create environments for multiple crops from multiple regions — simultaneously,” said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne, head of biotechnology for Syngenta. “Individual controls of temperature, light and carbon dioxide levels, as well as humidity control in many growth chambers, provide tailored environments that allow our talented researchers to work on specific grower challenges. In addition to innovative facilities, being in RTP, we have access to some of the greatest scientific minds to help farmers grow more from less.”

The research facility houses 30 climate-controlled growth environments in all-glass greenhouses. Syngenta can simulate conditions from Iowa in one room and from Africa Young Corn at Syngenta Research Labnext door. This flexibility will allow company researchers to focus on developing agricultural traits that optimize crop yields, use resources efficiently and resist various stresses that farmers face every day across the globe.

“Syngenta invests more than $1.25 billion annually to directly focus on solving challenges for farmers. As we consider global food security, the research conducted in our new crop lab will be essential to meet that demand,” said Vern Hawkins, Syngenta North America region director.

Design elements of the new facility include insulated glass walls that provide a virtually shadowless indoor environment, a liquid “fertigation” system to feed and water the plants and an automated roof-washing system.

Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App

PrecisionLabPrecision Laboratories has released an update to their award-winning Mix Tank application, available immediately for download on iPhone and Android smartphones. Mix Tank 2.1 improves the already easy-to-use application and introduces new features to help applicators prevent tank mixing problems. More details on the latest mobile application update are available online at

As part of the latest update, Mix Tank 2.1 introduces “My Favorites” – a tool that allows users to select their most used crop protection products from more than 1,200 available. In addition, “Mixing Precautions” which alert users of a potential compatibility issue, is now more identifiable and appears only when a precaution exists.

Precision Laboratories Talks Volare DC with Aerial Applicators

Precision Laboratories at NAAAHere’s the Precision Laboratories team during the recent National Agricultural Aviation Association convention. On the far left is Jim Reiss, vice president of agricultural chemistries. We talked about what the company offers aerial applicators. He focused on Volare DC™, a recently launched adjuvant technology. Here’s a description from their website.

Volare DC, briefly known as Avianis DC, delivers improved drift control, deposition and coverage when applied through aerial application equipment. Unlike ordinary drift retardants designed for ground application,Volare DC optimizes droplet size and deposition by “right-sizing” spray droplets to resist wind stream shear that ruptures oversized droplets formed from ordinary drift retardants.

“Aerial applicators are under ever increasing pressure to cover more acres while delivering timely and on-target applications of crop protection products,” said Jim Reiss, vice president of Agricultural Chemistries at Precision Laboratories. “Oversized spray droplets can break apart at application speeds above 125 mph, creating smaller droplets that are more susceptible to drift. Volare DC is specifically designed for aerial applicators to optimize droplet size and resist breakup at high speeds.”

You can listen to my interview with Jim to learn more about what they offer aerial applicators here: Interview with Jim Reiss

You can find photos from the 2012 NAAA Convention here: 2012 NAAA Convention Photo Album

Mix Tank App Now Has Online Version

Now you can get the Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App without having to have a smart phone handy. Now you can “get it” from your online computer or tablet! Give it a try.

Precision Laboratories recently announced the release of an online version of its popular, new Mix Tank app for iPhone. Thousands of growers and retailers have already downloaded the app and are using it to prevent costly mixing sequence errors that lead to compatibility problems and nozzle plugging. Now, Precision Laboratories is able to offer the app to anyone with a computer and internet access.

Like the iPhone and iPod touch app, applicators can now choose from over 900 crop protection products from over 16 different manufacturers at The Mix Tank app is able to process any combination of products and determine the correct mixing sequence. Users can also share their recommended mixing orders through email, Facebook or Twitter and can request the addition of any crop protection product not currently in the database.

The Mix Tank App is free of charge both online and on the iPhone. The iPhone app also features a series of training videos on proper mixing sequence from the adjuvant experts at Precision Laboratories, which can be viewed at

The first of its kind, the Mix Tank App helps growers get the most out of every tank mix. Users can access the online app from any internet-connected computer at

For more information, visit

Precision Labs iPod Giveaway Winner Announced

The ZimmComm/Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App iPod Giveaway has ended. The entries were collected and a winner has been drawn.

The winner is . . . . Illinois corn grower, Greg Guenther! Greg served eight years on the Illinois Corn Grower board and three years on the National Corn Growers board. He was honored by the ICGA with their World of Corn Award, which goes to individuals, organizations or businesses for making significant contributions to the corn industry. Greg also received the St. Louis Agribusiness Club, Agribusiness Leader of the Year Award in 2009.

Congratulations to Greg. He will receive an iPod touch that comes pre-loaded with the Precision Labs Mix Tank App and the AgWired App. Just trying to make it easy for you Greg.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. We had a lot of fun doing the giveaway and I think you’ll see more opportunities in the future.

Get More From Burndown as Planting Begins

Planting season has officially started with the first USDA crop progress report of the year released this week. Three percent of the nation’s corn crop planted – the same as both last year and the five year average. Cotton is running on schedule with seven percent planted and sorghum is 20 percent.

As the planters start moving through the fields, Precision Laboratories is reminding growers to get the most out of their fields by getting the most out of their weed control by following two simple steps:

1. Reduce costly tank-mix incompatibility issues by following the proper mixing sequence

Tank mix compatibility issues can cost you time and money – lost spraying time from plugged sprayer nozzles, lost product and the risk of cross contamination problems later. Precision Laboratories recently released a simple and unique way to identify the correct mixing sequence for your crop protection products. The new Mix Tank app for iPhone and iPod touch, is the first of its kind, helping you determine the accurate mixing sequence for pesticides, adjuvants and foliar nutrition products. With over 700 crop protection products from over 15 manufacturers, the new Mix Tank app can process any combination of products and determine the correct solution. Download the Mix Tank app at And if you don’t have an iPhone, you can enter to win a free iPod Touch loaded with the app and other tank mixing resources. To register for the Precision Laboratories/ZimmComm iPod Touch giveaway, click here. Continue reading

Enter Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App iPod touch Giveaway

How would you like a chance to win one of the coolest apps on your very own iPod? All you have to do is enter the Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App iPod touch Giveaway Contest (entry form).

The contest kicks off today and will end on midnight May 9 with the winner being announced May 10th on AgWired and Precision Pays. The Precision Laboratories Mix Tank App will be pre-loaded on the iPod so all you have to do to get started using it is to click on the app! ZimmComm New Media is thrilled to be working with Precision Laboratories on this promotion.

If you don’t know what the Mix Tank App is then you can learn more about it from James Reiss, Vice President of the agricultural chemistries business and Daniel Ori, Marketing Specialist in a recent ZimmCast with them.

Improving crop protection strategies will most likely lead to more tank mixing. Improper mixing sequence of crop protection products can cause incompatibility problems, lost spraying time from plugged sprayer nozzles, and the risk of cross contamination problems later. Simple mixing errors will cost you time and money.

The free Mix Tank app from Precision Laboratories is the first of its kind to assist agricultural retailers, crop specialists, university researchers and growers to determine the correct mixing sequence of crop protection tank mixes. It helps you get the most out of every tank mix and eliminate costly mixing errors.

Official Rules (doc file)