Syngenta Crop Challenge details unveiled

- Contest challenges entrants to apply analytics in new, novel ways to improve farm productivity

- Experts in analytics, operations research and agriculture encouraged to compete in innovation challenge

Nov 04, 2015, 09:40 ET from Syngenta from ,INFORMS

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Syngenta Crop Challenge case competition, challenging participants to develop a model that helps predict what farmers should plant next season to maximize yield, launches today. Contestants will use provided data on soil property, weather and seed variety tests to develop their unique models.

Syngenta, a leading innovator in plant genetics, and the Analytics Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) are proud to sponsor the Syngenta Crop Challenge. Knowing the world is grappling for new ideas to help alleviate hunger challenges, this new, joint competition focuses specifically on using analytics to address the problem.

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. This competition asks, how can a farmer make seed variety decisions that optimally reduce risk and increase yield?

Case details were announced at the 2015 INFORMS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia this week. Contestants will be provided the following data:

  • Soil property information for the model farm that will be used when choosing which varieties to plant
  • Daily weather data for the past 15 years (focused on the growing season) for the farm
  • Test data for the seed varieties at various soil types and weather types for the past 4 years, indicating the yield for each variety at each growing season

The winner of the competition will receive a $5,000 prize. The runner-up will receive $2,500, and the third place winner will receive $1,000. Entries must be submitted by January 15 2016, and finalists will be announced in February 26, 2016. Finalists will make their presentation in person or via teleconference on April 12, 2016 at the INFORMS Practice Conference in Orlando, Florida. The winners will be announced at the conference after the final presentations. Contestants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Syngenta, an award winning company for its innovation in plant analytics, is proud to sponsor this competition to fuel the next big innovations in applying advanced analytics to biochemistry and agriculture. As, an extension of the Good Growth Plan, Syngenta's six commitments to address global food security, this contest broadens its reach to include input from stakeholders the world over.

"Bringing plant potential to life is our purpose at Syngenta. We strive to continually bring new technologies and innovations to the market to help keep farmers at the top of their game. Extending our work through this challenge will help us broaden our reach and scope of ideas even more," says Joe Byrum, Syngenta head of soybean seeds product development and lead for the Syngenta Crop Challenge. "We're excited to see the ideas generated through this competition."

More details about the Syngenta Crop Challenge competition can be found at

About Syngenta
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 and Follow us on Twitter® at and

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 or @informs