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Syngenta Expands World-Class Wheat Breeding Facility

November 27, 2012 - Syngenta Canada Inc. is pleased to announce the intensification of its North American cereals advancement efforts via the expansion of its world-class wheat breeding facility located in Junction City, Kansas, in the United States. This research centre now includes a newly built advanced hybrid wheat greenhouse adjacent to the facility's double haploid lab. This expansion is the most recent investment Syngenta has made as part of its commitment to the wheat industry and advanced seed technology innovation.

The Junction City facility sits on a site founded as a mixed-operation farm in the 1870s. The approximately 100-acre facility includes research labs and greenhouses where Syngenta breeders and researchers are advancing cereals breeding by employing cutting-edge applied technologies, including:

• hybridization, which brings yield stability and consistency;

• double haploid technology, which stabilizes the desired variety earlier and more quickly, cutting years out of the development cycle; and

• genetic markers, which allow for native trait identification in seedlings.

Dave Sefton, Board Chair for the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF) and cereal grower from Broadview, Saskatchewan, recently toured the Junction City facility and hybrid greenhouse. "WGRF found the research Syngenta is undertaking at this facility very interesting and the potential of hybrid wheat varieties for Canadian growers something we will continue to follow. We are supportive of, and look forward to, any public, private, producer partnerships that have the potential to deliver net benefits to Canadian farmers."

Within Canada specifically, head wheat breeder Francis Kirigwi and his team are using applied technologies to develop agronomically superior, high-yielding Canadian Western Red Spring (CWRS) and Canadian Prairie Spring (CPS) wheat varieties with strong milling and baking characteristics, as well as disease and pest resistance. Viable varieties are then sent to the Junction City facility for further testing and multiplication prior to field-scale trialing in Canada.

"The Syngenta cereal vision is to transform wheat production worldwide by creating new technology platforms which set unprecedented standards for yield, quality and sustainability," says Norm Dreger, Head of Cereals, North America, for Syngenta. "We are confident that through our innovation, investment and involvement – which the Junction City facility expansion clearly reflects – we will realize this vision, and Canadian growers will benefit."