Syngenta opens new US$100M, 42-hectare facility in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to develop its Plene technology aimed at increasing planting efficiency, creating uniform-sized, disease-free sugarcane

LOS ANGELES , June 15, 2012 () – **I wonder if we should re-do this headline to include the info. that the tech produces uniform-sized, disease-free sugar cane, as I feel this info. would be the most useful to sugar cane producers**

Syngenta AG opened a 42-hectare facility on June 13 to develop its Plene technology for sugarcane planting, The Hindu Business Line reported June 14.

Thus far, the company has invested $100 million in the facility, which, according to China Daily, is located in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo in the municipality of Itapolis.

The Plene technology, which produces uniform-sized, disease-free sugar cane, should reduce labor and input costs while increasing sugarcane yields, The Hindu Business Line said.

Syngenta said that it intends to focus on spreading the technology in South American countries including Brazil before attempting to propagate it in Asian countries including China, India and Thailand.

The technology will have to be localized for the Indian market, said Syngenta Global Sugarcane Head Daniel Bachner. In order to introduce the technology to India, it will take a minimum of two years, Bachner added.

Although normally approximately 20 tonnes of 40 cm sugar cane would be planted on a single acre, 2 tonnes of 25 cm Plene sugar cane will suffice, Bachner said.

Syngenta developed the machine used for planting the Plene sugar cane in conjunction with U.S. farm equipment firm Deere & Company, more commonly known as John Deree, which retains the right to sell the machine exclusively until 2014.

According to initial results for Syngenta’s Plene sugarcane, it produced yields of 168 tonnes/ hectare against 135 tonnes, while another test yielded 134 tonnes/hecatare against 105 tonnes, Bachner said.

The primary source of this article is The Hindu Business Line, Chennai, India, and China Daily, Beijing, China, on June 14 and June 15, 2012.

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