BASEL, Switzerland — Syngenta is developing a new technology to dramatically improve the cost efficiency of sugar cane planting in Brazil.
Syngenta’s innovation would reduce planting costs per hectare by 15 percent, driven by a novel approach to grow sugar cane from smaller cane segments using proprietary treatments.
The technology is planned for launch in 2010 under the brand name Plene and has a market potential of $300 million per year by 2015.
Syngenta is developing a method of producing sugarcane segments of less than four centimeters in length. These will be treated with proprietary crop protecting seed care applications to maximize early plant development.
The method would allow sugar cane growers to replant their fields more frequently, eliminating the typical yield degradation of the crop and thereby leading to a yield gain of up to 15 percent.
It would also enable growers to use lighter planting equipment which saves on fuel costs.
This planting machinery is under development in partnership with U.S. agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere.
Brazil is the market leader in sugar cane production, with 8 million hectares under cultivation, two percent of the country’s arable land.
Current production of sugar cane is around 500 million tons. Increased demand for sugar cane comes from its use as sugar and as a raw material in the production of biofuel.