Syngenta unveiled Pest Outlooks

Syngenta Professional Products has unveiled Pest Outlooks, a state-of-the-art predictive tool to help golf course superintendents, lawn care operators and other turfgrass managers anticipate potentially damaging outbreaks of insects and disease. The online service allows customers to retrieve, at the click of a mouse, information that used to take days to collect from multiple sources. Pest Outlooks is one of the first services under the new company’s GreenCast brand, which it has created to offer customers a range of value-added information and technology services.


Located at, Pest Outlooks is a proprietary service available only to Syngenta customers. It was developed in partnership with Pest Forecasting Group, Inc. and top university turf experts. It uses weather data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, historical data and pest models to identify  – on a weekly basis – climatic conditions that favor outbreaks of a variety of diseases and insects. The service currently covers seven of the most common diseases encountered by superintendents or lawn care operators: dollar spot, gray leaf spot, summer patch, brown patch, pythium blight, rust and red thread. It also covers eight common white grub species including Oriental beetle, May/June beetle, European chafer, masked chafers, Japanese beetle, Asiatic garden beetle and black turfgrass ataenius.


“Including technical services such as Pest Outlooks in a total program will be the future of pest management,” explained Dr. Joe DiPaola, golf market manager for Syngenta Professional Products. “Anticipating disease and insect outbreaks has always been partly a science and partly an art. We think that by putting the absolute best, most up-to-date information in the end-user’s hands, we can make their jobs easier and allow them to better manage their resources.”

The Pest Outlooks website was designed with ease of use and the convenience of the user in mind. It is divided clearly into separate Golf and Lawn Care sections, which are carefully tailored to meet the needs of those customers regardless of where they are located in the country. For example, a visitor to the Golf section can click on “gray leaf spot” and see a map of the United States, color-coded with the relative threat of the disease to each area of the country indicated by Very High, High, Moderate or Low.  The superintendent can then drill down further to see if the conditions are favorable for an outbreak in the next week in his or her region, state or immediate climate area (all 344 climate areas of the 48 contiguous U.S. states are listed). An interactive section allows users to pose questions directly to the experts at Syngenta and the new Golf Notes newsletter provides them with valuable information on soil temperatures and regional pest outbreaks. Many superintendents expect Pest Outlooks to have an immediate impact on how they manage pest problems.


“It’s helpful to go to other areas of the region or country and see what other people are dealing with to help predict what we might see,” said Paul Latshaw, Jr., superintendent at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. Latshaw’s course will host the 2003 PGA Championship, and he believes Pest Outlooks will play an important role in helping him prepare for that critically important event.  “Of course we’re very diligent in scouting for disease on the course, but looking at the big picture will help us know more specifically what to expect. I use it as a friendly reminder of what to scout for.”


Another benefit of the service, Syngenta’s Joe DiPaola said, is its potential to justify preventive applications and enhance the efficiency of chemical use.


“Knowing a week, or even days in advance, that your course may be threatened by a particular pest can make all the difference in the world,” he said. “If your course is due for a preventive application for dollar spot, checking the likelihood of the disease may help you decide if it’s really necessary.”


Pest Outlooks will be equally valuable for lawn care operators. The Lawn section of the website offers the same benefits as the Golf section, but is focused on pests such as rust and red thread that are more of a threat to home and commercial lawns. In addition, it includes an online version of the popular Tech Notes newsletter – which is similar in content to Golf Notes.


“While there are a lot of similarities, we really expect our lawn care customers to use Pest Outlooks in very different ways than our superintendent customers,” explained Chuck Buffington, lawn care market manager for Syngenta Professional Products. “For a LCO servicing dozens of accounts in a single area, an unanticipated disease or insect outbreak can mean lost customers and lost income. Having reliable, timely information on potential problems can improve everything from the choice of chemicals to the allocation of staff and equipment and help make the business more efficient.”


Syngenta is a world leading agribusiness. The company ranks first in crop protection, and third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Pro forma sales in 2000 were approximately US $6.9 billion. Syngenta employs more than 20,000 people in over 50 countries. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative Research and Technology. Formed in November 2000 by the merger of Novartis Agribusiness and Zeneca Agrochemicals, Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange, and in London, New York and Stockholm. Further information is available at


Margaret McLean, Syngenta Professional Products  (336) 632-2115

Dianne Cantley, Trone Public Relations (336) 812-2018

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as “expect,” “would,” “will,” “potential,” “plans,” “prospects,” “estimated,” “aiming,” “on track” and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements.  We refer you to Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties.  Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors.  This release does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.



What is Pest Outlooks? Pest Outlooks is a member-based, on-line service that provides Syngenta Professional Products customers with timely, state-of-the art forecasting information for a variety of common turf grass diseases and insects. It is part of Syngenta’s new GreenCast program designed to offer customers value added services and technologies.

What are the advantages of using Pest Outlooks? The biggest advantage is the peace of mind it can provide. By logging on to Pest Outlooks, golf course superintendents and lawn care operators can see disease and insect forecasts for the entire country, or “drill down” to their region, state or local area. It is a terrific predictive tool to give users an early warning if conditions are favorable for a particular disease or insect.

What pests can Pest Outlooks forecast? Regardless of which area of the country you call home, Pest Outlooks covers one of your common disease or insect problems. The service currently issues advisories on favorable conditions for seven diseases, including dollar spot, brown patch, summer patch, gray leaf spot, red thread, rust and pythium blight. The insects the service covers include eight species of white grub: May/June beetle, European chafer, masked chafers, Oriental beetle, Asiatic garden beetle, Japanese beetle and black turfgrass ataenius.

How do I get information from Pest Outlooks? Access to information can be gained by simply logging on to and entering your assigned user name and password.  Be sure to include the hyphen in the middle of the name when typing the URL.

Who can access the information on the website? Pest Outlooks is accessible only to Syngenta Professional Products customers enrolled in the company’s GreenPartnersprogram as well as select university researchers. If a visitor is not a member of the GreenPartners program, he or she can join at the click of a mouse.

On what sources is the information on Pest Outlooks based? The forecasts are based on historic, current and forecast climate and weather data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and specific pest models treating important factors such as soil moisture, relative humidity and temperature.

What if I only have a few minutes to spare for the website? Customers with limited time should check out the “What’s Hot” section of the website. Clicking on this section provides quick summaries for diseases and insects. For example, a recent “What’s Hot” warned that the Southeast and South regions were at peak risk for outbreaks of dollar spot. The website also has a handy “AutoRoute” feature that users can set up to take them directly to the information they find most valuable.

What information can Pest Outlooks give me on my local area? Pest Outlooks provides information for nearly 350 individual climate areas in the 48 contiguous states. For example, Florida is broken into seven distinct areas, all of which can be viewed separately. Each area’s map is updated weekly. Six values are given depicting the forecast favorability for pathogen growth and reference values for that area.

How often is the information updated? Information on the Pest Outlooks website is updated every Wednesday.

How much does Pest Outlooks cost? Throughout its 2001 pilot run, Pest Outlooks will be free to Syngenta Professional Products customers enrolled in the GreenPartners program. In 2002, each GreenPartners member will receive information from Syngenta Professional Products to explain how they can continue to access the wealth of information available.

What if I notice something that isn’t listed on Pest Outlooks? Syngenta Professional Products invites and encourages users of Pest Outlooks to report pests observed in their individual areas. Users can fill out an online “Pest Observation Report” to inform their peers about conditions noted in their area.

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