What's Keeping Canadian Pulse Growers Awake at Night?

    Syngenta survey shows pulse growers are concerned with pests,
    transportation and making a decent living, but still plan to increase
    pulse production in 2008

    SASKATOON, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - What's on the minds of Canadian pulse growers?
That's what Syngenta Crop Protection Canada, Inc. wanted to find out with
their recent "Finger on the Pulse" survey of Canadian pulse growers. Syngenta
asked pulse growers across Canada about some of their biggest crop-related
concerns and learned that despite multiple challenges, most growers enjoy
their current lifestyle and won't be switching crops any time soon. In fact
nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they planned to plant a higher acreage of
pulse crops in 2008.
    Despite a booming export market, which sees Canada as the world's number
one exporter of peas and lentils and a world leader in chickpeas and bean
exports, neither the high Canadian dollar, nor the threat of global warming
are causing sleepless nights for Canadian pulse growers. Instead, Canadian
growers cited pest pressure (including diseases, insects and weeds) as the
number one crop-related issue keeping them up at night, with over a third of
respondents claiming pest pressures as their top concern.
    This fact did not come as a surprise to Andrea McConnell, Crop Manager,
Pulses, Syngenta Crop Protection. "At Syngenta, we're well aware that pests,
whether they're diseases, insects or weeds, can make or break a crop. Growers
are continually at risk of being hit by an attack of a familiar or new pest.
Syngenta is committed to finding solutions and preventative measures to help
combat pest pressures and ensure that growers get the highest possible yield
out of their crops."
    High input costs and marketing challenges were other notable concerns,
with 25 per cent and 13 per cent of respondents respectively citing these
issues as their leading cause of sleepless nights.
    While pulse growers expressed satisfaction with their crop choice, with
over 60 per cent saying they would recommend growing pulse crops to friends or
family members, many feel the industry could do more to campaign on their
behalf. A whopping 60 per cent of pulse growers who responded to the survey
believe improved transportation is the number one issue on which the industry
should campaign. A further 17 per cent are looking for more government and
industry-led marketing initiatives, with consumer education on the health
benefits of pulses being seen as one of the keys to the long-term prosperity
of the Canadian pulse industry.
    "Pulse growers are a major contributor to the Canadian agriculture
market. One of the top priorities at Syngenta is helping Canadian growers run
profitable businesses and providing them with the resources to overcome the
challenges they face," said McConnell. "We also work closely with the growers
and industry associations, sharing our business knowledge to help them
campaign effectively to address priority industry issues and causes."
    Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable
agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a
leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds
market. Sales in 2006 were approximately $8.1 billion. Syngenta employs around
21,000 in over 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange
(SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at

    About the Survey

    The Syngenta Finger on the Pulse survey was an online survey of 170
Canadian pulse growers conducted on behalf of Syngenta during the period
December 5 - 17, 2007.

    Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    This document 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 document 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.

For further information:

For further information: Jordana Wolch, Cohn & Wolfe, Phone: (416)
904-2120, Jordana.Wolch@cohnwolfe.ca; Andrea McConnell, Syngenta Crop
Protection Canada, Inc., Phone: (403) 219-5440, Andrea.McConnell@syngenta.com

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