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 www.greencastonline.com,
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
“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 www.syngenta.com.
Margaret McLean, Syngenta Professional Products (336) 632-2115
Dianne Cantley, Trone Public Relations (336) 812-2018
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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT
SYNGENTA PEST OUTLOOKS
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
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.
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.
do I get information from Pest Outlooks? Access to information can be gained by simply logging on to www.greencastonline.com
and entering your assigned user name and password. Be sure to include the hyphen in the middle of the name when
typing the URL.
can access the information on the website? Pest Outlooks is accessible only to Syngenta
Professional Products customers enrolled in the company’s GreenPartners™
program 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.
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.
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
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.
often is the information updated? Information
on the Pest Outlooks website is updated every Wednesday.
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.
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.