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Source: Syngenta news release

Downers Grove, IL - Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of INFORMS today launched the 2021 Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, a competition that focuses on analytical approaches to improve complex crop breeding processes. The 2021 competition is aimed at optimizing year-round corn hybrid breeding processes. By optimizing seeds product development systems, scientists can ensure increased performance and crop yield potential across diverse environments.

Data analytics, mathematics and statistics students, and professionals worldwide are invited to enter by Jan. 20, 2021.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is a collaborative effort between Syngenta Seeds and the Analytics Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).

The competition brings together experts in mathematics, computer science and analytics, emphasizing the importance of cross-industry collaboration necessary to feed a growing population with limited natural resources. Analytics and data science play a vital role in agriculture, when farmers are facing increasing pressures from climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss, and from consumers' changing tastes in food.

"Innovative science and data-driven strategies have helped our industry breed more efficient, better seeds that require fewer resources and are adaptable to more diverse and variable environments," said Gregory Doonan, head of advanced analytics, Syngenta Seeds. "Yet, that success has also brought on new challenges, namely increased output and irregular weekly harvest quantities that can create logistical and productivity issues, including storage capacity limitations after harvest. Optimizing planting schedules to ensure that facilities are not over capacity has the potential to relieve that burden."

The Syngenta Crop Challenge gives data analytics experts the opportunity to use their skills to address real challenges farmers face, such as the unprecedented set of obstacles due to increasingly difficult growing conditions driven by climate change.

"With nearly 200,000 new mouths to feed every day - at a time when we are using our arable land and water 50 percent faster than the planet can sustain - securing the world's food supply is more critical than ever," Doonan said.

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on the rigor and validity of the process and the quality of the proposed solution. Finalists will be announced in March and will be given the opportunity to present their submissions in April during the 2021 INFORMS Business Analytics Conference where the winners will be announced. The winner will be awarded $5,000; the runner up will receive $2,500; and the third-place team will receive $1,000.

Established in 2015, the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics is supported by Syngenta Seeds and hosted by the Analytics Society of INFORMS. It was originally funded by prize winnings donated by Syngenta in connection with the company's 2015 win of the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

The competition exemplifies Syngenta Seed's commitment to accelerating innovation to address the increasing challenges farmers face and the changing views of society.

For more information about the Syngenta Crop Challenge in Analytics, including eligibility criteria and deliverables, visit

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