Syngenta sets up new online "community" for vegetable and potato growers

A new communities website where vegetable and potato growers can gain and share advice and discuss topical issues has been set up by Syngenta Crop Protection.

The site was launched at this year's Cereals event, which took place near Royston in Cambridgeshire on 9-10 June.

The firm also informed growers of the new service at its first whole crop agronomy open day held at the Processors and Growers Research Organisation's headquarters near Peterborough.

There, Syngenta's social media manager Edwina Wood told Grower: 

"This communities facility breaks down the barrier between the Syngenta brand and the consumer. The more people who are involved, the better the resource and breadth of knowledge. You can join the group and if you have a question we will answer it."

Edwina Wood added: "Farmers and growers have been slow to pick up on web technology, partly because broadband in rural areas can be so slow. But they are now catching up, especially as many of the students who graduate now have iPhones. So this is somewhere younger growers can go to get knowledge and take it onto the farm and impress their dads."

There are nine different communities on the site, including a seed care community, an operation pollinator community, a recruitment section, an agrinews section, four regional communities and a specialist vegetable and potatoes community.

Wood said: "We wanted potato and vegetable growers to have their own area because their needs are so different from cereals."

Growers can ask for advice from, or discuss topics with, Syngenta advisers, fellow growers and any independent agronomists who join the communities.

Wood said: "The key to success is to have individual advisors - peer recommendations rather than corporate recommendations."

Syngenta has also launched mobile web - a mobile phone-friendly version of its website - so that growers can get weather forecasts and spraying advice while they are out in the field.


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