The Crop Challenge was initiated in 2015 by Byrum after being named the winner of the INFORMS Franz Edelman award. He donated his prize winnings to INFORMS to further idea creation, in effect launching the Syngenta Crop Challenge.
Each year farmers have to make decisions about what crops to plant given uncertainties in expected weather conditions and knowledge about the soil at their respective farms. To ensure there is enough seed of the desired varieties for farmers, it is critical to evaluate which variety or varieties are more likely to be chosen by farmers based on growing region.
Using provided datasets, Crop Challenge participants are asked to predict which soybean seed variety or mix of up to seven varieties in appropriate proportions is more likely to be chosen. Entries will be evaluated based on the rigor and validity of the process used to determine which variety or varieties are selected for planting and should include documented methodology. The winner will receive $5,000; the runner-up $2,500; and the third place entry $1,000. Entries must be submitted by Jan. 16, 2017, and finalists will be announced Feb. 24, 2017. Contestants must be 18 years or older to participate. For more information, including criteria and deliverables, visit www.ideaconnection.com/syngenta-crop-challenge.
"Syngenta strives to modernize agriculture and ensure the industry's practices are as advanced and efficient as possible," said Byrum. "We value the talents and skills of those who do not necessarily have an agriculture industry background. The Syngenta Crop Challenge is the epitome of collaboration and crowdsourced problem solving."
Syngenta, a leading innovator in plant genetics, and the Analytics Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) have partnered to highlight the critical next step for agriculture to succeed when faced with the challenge of feeding a growing world population with less arable land: Advanced analytics and data analysis.
Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta and www.twitter.com/SyngentaUS.
About INFORMS and the INFORMS Analytics Section
INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in analytics and operations research (O.R.). INFORMS advances research, and develops and promotes best practices in analytics and O.R. through collaboration, knowledge sharing, and professional development. The Analytics Section of INFORMS is focused on promoting the use of data-driven analytics and fact-based decision making in practice. The Section recognizes that analytics is seen as both (i) a complete business problem solving and decision making process, and (ii) a broad set of analytical methodologies that enable the creation of business value.
Further information about INFORMS, analytics, and operations research is at www.informs.org or @informs.
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