Syngenta wheat breeders announce retirement

Two men responsible for the Syngenta wheat-breeding program -- Rollie Sears and Joe Smith -- are retiring from their roles of guiding the company's traditional wheat breeding while using technology to produce the best and largest yield of cereals.

After their retirement, Carlos Iglesias and John Davies will take over the duties of senior science and technology fellow at Syngenta, Sears’ current role, and chief spring wheat breeder for AgriPro, Smith’s current role.

Sears especially worked on the development of AgriPro’s winter variety for wheat called Jagalene in 2013. He also helped Syngenta’s program to expand to seven breeding stations in 125 locations for the trial run of the products.

“The Syngenta wheat-breeding team understands the importance for our growers to start the season off right with a strong variety that provides a healthy end crop,” Sears said. “With that said, we are always trying to identify new traits and tools that may help us do a better job. When we see an opportunity that will fit our objectives, at home or abroad, we will pursue it. Investments in our cereals-breeding program are important and may lead to improved varieties that meet and often exceed industry standards.”

In the time Joe Smith has been working for Syngenta, he has helped develop a spring wheat variety for the Northern Plains called SY Soren.

“I have been waiting for just the right moment to retire," Smith said. "John Davies’ presence will make sure we have a good flow of varieties coming through and will eventually see that expanded to hybrid wheats in the next few years.”

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