Stewardship is a key facet of keeping agriculture sustainable in the West – and throughout the world. According to Dr. Jennifer Shaw, director of stewardship for Syngenta Crop Protection, the issue that floats to the top of Syngenta’s list of Western stewardship challenges is the quality and quantity of water.
The company’s water stewardship efforts take many forms. Near Sacramento, Calif., Syngenta donated Reward® landscape and aquatic herbicide to Ducks Unlimited to work with refuge staff to save 700 acres of critical wetland habitat at the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge from water hyacinth infestation. Contributions by Syngenta and other partners have substantially improved wetland habitat for migratory waterfowl in the 6,000-acre complex.
When a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley announced that he had found pyrethroid residues in aquatic sediments, Syngenta immediately stepped up to defend the insecticide family, sponsoring research and education efforts through the Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES). Through company grants, a cooperative effort with Bayer Crop Science and the Pyrethroid Working Group funding of CURES, Syngenta has helped CURES leverage state funds and has supported university research to better understand the science behind the issue and develop best management practices for pyrethroids.
“Syngenta said, ‘let’s get ahead of this thing. Let’s start talking to the users of these products about proper management,’” says Parry Klassen, executive director of CURES. “It’s been proven over and over again that we need to keep all of our tools, even if there are newer products available. Pyrethroids are an important component of integrated pest management and resistance management. We’ve learned their weak spot – sediment transporting the insecticide off site – and through the development and adoption of best management practices, we have a really good chance of mitigating the problems and continuing use of the products.” To date, Klassen has made more than 40 presentations on pyrethroid management, reaching more than 2,200 growers and Pest Control Advisors (PCAs) with the latest recommendations on minimizing spray drift and off-target movement of sediment in irrigation or storm water.
Shaw says Syngenta is acutely aware that growers face increasing public scrutiny of all of their crop production practices, so the company’s stewardship efforts start at the very earliest stages of developing new products for growers. That’s part of the extra value that growers receive from a leading manufacturer, she adds.
“We see ourselves as a provider of technologies that allow growers to fit into this changing environment – not just in how they’re going to increase yields and stay economically sustainable, but in dealing with environmental and social challenges as well,” says Shaw. “That’s part of the value-added service we provide in order to protect the natural resources that growers and others rely on.”
At Syngenta Crop Protection, environmental stewardship is a part of the company’s culture. To learn more about Syngenta’s initiatives, visit http://syngentacropprotection.com/enviro/.
For more information, visit these Syngenta Crop Protection Web sites: www.syngentacropprotection.com, www.farmassist.com, www.syngentaprofessionalproducts.com or call the Syngenta Customer Center at 1-866-SYNGENTA (866-796-4368).
©2007 Syngenta. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., Greensboro, NC 27409.
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