Syngenta Seeds, Inc., today unveiled its Agrisure Artesian technology, the new brand name for its range of water optimized hybrids and the newest addition to the Agrisure family of trait products.

A limited quantity of hybrids with this technology, which the company says has demonstrated the potential to deliver 15% yield preservation under drought stress, will be available through the company’s Garst, Golden Harvest and NK product brands.

Syngenta Seeds says Agrisure Artesian technology enables corn plants to use available moisture more efficiently, resulting in higher yields on drought-stressed acres, including dryland and limited-irrigation farms in the western Corn Belt.

Growers on rain-fed acres in the central and eastern Corn Belt likewise can use Agrisure Artesian technology to help stabilize yields in years of inconsistent rainfall or in fields with variable soil types and moisture-holding capacity. In years of ideal rainfall, hybrids with Agrisure Artesian technology have demonstrated no yield penalty compared with hybrids without the technology.

“Any grower will tell you how tough it is to watch corn roll up under heat and drought stress during tasseling and silking, knowing those plants may never fully regain that lost yield,” says David Morgan, president of Syngenta Seeds, Inc. “Agrisure Artesian technology will help growers preserve yields when moisture is limited due to lack of rains, poorly timed rains or limited-irrigation situations.” 

Syngenta created Agrisure Artesian technology through advanced molecular breeding to begin identifying and mining the many genes from the corn genome responsible for managing water use in corn. Syngenta’s first-generation, water-optimized hybrids combine multiple genes from this pool, all of which were identified as helping corn plants manage available water more efficiently.

Initial hybrids featuring Agrisure Artesian technology will be released primarily in the western Corn Belt — where the company says the probability of drought stress in any given year is virtually 100% and yield of dryland corn can be less than 50% of irrigated yield levels.

Agrisure Artesian technology will be sold with Agrisure 3000GT and Agrisure GT trait technologies. Syngenta is also developing a complementary water-optimized hybrid product utilizing a genetically modified trait. These hybrids are anticipated to be available post-2015, pending receipt of all regulatory and key import market approvals.