Novartis Seeds, Inc.-Field Crops has introduced 24 new NK Brand corn, soybean, alfalfa and sunflower products for 2001 planting.

Combined with the company's existing line-up of high-yielding hybrids and varieties, these enable growers to widen production opportunities across a portfolio of high-quality products.

"Just as a financial manager encourages investors to spread risk across a variety of stocks, we encourage farmers to take a portfolio approach to their seed selections," explains Marc Hennen, corn product manager for Novartis Seeds. "Growing conditions--and resulting product performance--can vary dramatically from one year to the next. By selecting a portfolio of consistent performing hybrids, farmers demonstrate sound risk management."

The new NK Brand products round out the company's offerings in several key geographies, allowing growers to plant complementary products without sacrificing yield potential. For example N43-C4, a 102-day corn hybrid, adds to the company's line-up of hybrids suited for the central and western corn belt, while N45-T5, a 103-day hybrid, is ideal for many northern corn belt growing environments.

Five of the new NK Brand hybrids include YieldGard insect protection and resistance to Liberty herbicide, allowing farmers to enjoy the benefits of in-plant insect protection and excellent weed control. These hybrids, like all of the company's products, are approved for export to the European Union.

Additionally, growers have the option of purchasing many NK Brand hybrids with Novartis Seeds' proprietary seed-delivered insect control, ProShield technology, a precise amount of the active ingredient, Force ST insecticide, is applied to each seed, ensuring uniform performance. ProShield technology protects germinating seeds, and growing corn plants against rootworm, white grub, wireworm and seedcorn maggot, plus suppresses cutworm.

Thirteen new soybean varieties also have been added to the NK Brand product lineup, a group that Product Manager Mark Schmidt rates as the best set of new products in the company's 30-year history of soybean breeding.

"These soybean lines are a dramatic step forward in terms of yield, consistency and overall performance," Schmidt explains, adding that most of the new varieties also include the popular Roundup Ready trait. "And unlike many first-year products, we have significant quantities of these products available for sale, allowing more farmers to take advantage of these advanced genetics."

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